FORCED OUT: Brendan Riley, Max Timbury and Nathan Frisby at their campsite on the corner of Waterson Way and Orana Street in Airlie Beach.
FORCED OUT: Brendan Riley, Max Timbury and Nathan Frisby at their campsite on the corner of Waterson Way and Orana Street in Airlie Beach. Inge Hansen

Hotelier offers 'squatting' schoolies a room

AIRLIE Beach hotelier Jeff Aquilina has said he will offer a room to the group of schoolies described as having created a squatters' camp if they are forced to relocate.

"Heart Hotel would be happy to offer an alternative accommodation to ensure that the schoolies kids in this situation still have an enjoyable time during schoolies," he said.

"It's important that the schoolies go away from the destination with having had an enjoyable time in the region."

On Friday, Max Timbury and a group of friends from Townsville set up a small camp site on Max's grandfather's vacant property on the corner of Waterson Way and Orana Street as a place to stay during schoolies week.

On Sunday, the group was confronted by Whitsunday Regional Council and were told to leave after a complaint was received.

Mr Aquilina's offer isn't the first the boys have received, with a number of locals offering a space in their homes since the story was made public yesterday.

"We've had (locals) offer for us to come and stay at their place and some have offered us camping gear," Nathan Frisby said.

And that's not the only support they've received.

"People have driven past and given us the thumbs up - the support has been so good," Brendan Riley said.

Whitsunday Regional Council has said the group are partaking in unlawful activity despite Max's grandfather owning the block of land on which they are camping.

"Council has received a complaint (regarding) unlawful activity on  a vacant block in Waterson Way and have issued a compliance notice in accordance with our local laws," it said.

"At this stage only one complaint has been received from a neighbour and coincil's Local Laws will monitor the situation as required."

The "unlawful activity" council is referring to is the Local Law No.1 (Administration) 2014 which states it is an "offence to undertake prescribed activity on residential land without approval" and therefore a compliance notice can be issued.

According to the council a permit is required in order to set up camp on a vacant block of land despite already being owned.

Since the issue arose yesterday, council officers have issued a compliance notice to the group and further monitoring will continue.

Despite the lingering hassle, Brendan said it was unlikely the group would move.

"There's only a couple of days left so I reckon we'll end up staying here until we leave," he said.

"That's why I don't see what the big deal is."

On Monday, the area received a hefty amount of rain but not even the elements could deter the boys from abandoning camp.

Instead of caving and opting for a more sheltered area, they simply erected a "tarp wall" to protect their gear from getting soaked.

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