Crackdown on unauthorised camping at Urunga

One of the freshly installed signs
One of the freshly installed signs

Several 'No Camping' signs have been erected along the Atherton Drive foreshore at Urunga, and Crown Lands have promised to conduct ongoing compliance operations to address unauthorised camping.

The Atherton Drive foreshore precinct comprises about four hectares of Crown Land on the Kalang River north of Urunga's CBD and is a popular spot for picnicking, sightseeing, fishing and boating.

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Crown Lands Acting Deputy Secretary Alison Pepper said the problems caused by unauthorised camping needed to be addressed.

Environmental concerns included vegetation being damaged, grey water being emptied next to the river, accumulating rubbish, fire risks and river bank erosion.

Residents' concerns included camping vehicles blocking access to public open recreation spaces, boat launch areas and picnic tables, and the local toilet block being rendered unusable.

Ms Pepper said ongoing Crown Lands compliance operations to target unauthorised camping began this week.

"No camping signs have been installed to warn visitors against camping on the foreshore.

"Unauthorised campers will be instructed to leave or be issued with penalty notices. Fines of $1,100 can apply for unauthorised camping under the Crown Land Management Act.

"Traffic bollards will also be installed on Atherton Drive next year to prevent campervans and other vehicles accessing the foreshore.

"Campers are instead advised to stay at authorised holiday parks in the region that are properly equipped for overnight or longer term stays, including at Urunga, Hungry Head, Mylestom, Nambucca Heads, or Scotts Head.

"Concerns about squatters breaking into disused cabins along Atherton Drive will also be addressed by Crown Lands with the assistance of NSW Police.

"These actions will help protect the future sustainability of this important part of Bellinger Heads State Park."