EYESORE: Previous illegal campers at the Noosa national Park.
EYESORE: Previous illegal campers at the Noosa national Park. Contributed

Moves to police Noosa's national parks up for vote

ILLEGAL overnight campers at local national parks, including Noosa Heads, may soon be in the sights of local law enforcers as councillors consider off-street timed parking.

Noosa Council might soon amend its local laws after a request from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to take over control at its popular and often crowded areas like Noosa National Park day-use area.

Parking officers are not permitted to enter the national park areas, with councillors admitting frustration that illegal campers are thumbing their noses at bans on overnight stays.

Mayor Tony Wellington this week told the council that if this new off-street regulated parking was agreed to, the council was "absolutely” the authority to set regulated parking times.

But the mayor said the hours and arrangements would have to be worked out at a council workshop while the council would also seek public submissions before any new local laws were adopted.

Parking limits in the park could have a direct impact on the hundreds of surfers who flock to this confined public space when the big swells are running.

And that includes keen surfers Cr Wellington and Cr Jess Glasgow.

"On the whole, as long as surfers get a long enough time in the carpark, they're going to be really happy with this result, because they've been asking (the) council to do this for a long time,” Cr Wellington said.

He said the time limits might consider "how long does it take to walk out to Granite (Bay), have a good surf and walk back again”.

Cr Frank Pardon said timed parking "will be a big bone of contention” as the council also considers a QPWS request to introduce off-street regulated parking at other national park sites.

These are Laguna Look Out, Mt Tinbeerwah and Wooroi day use area.

Council CEO Brett de Chastel would be tasked with working out a memo- randum of understanding with the director of national parks should the council take over on this new role.

"It's really a package of four and I'd raise a question about whether or not we take the opportunity at the Wooroi State Forest one,” Mr de Chastel said.

He this and other sites are "a bit more remote” and "obviously most of the activity will be out at the (Noosa) national park”.

The mayor said: "There are more and more people sleeping up at Tinbeerwah - they're hidden, which is good and no one's complaining about it.”

Mr de Chastel said the council had to be concerned it does not go out and starting fining people parked at Wooroi, who might be just out on their mountain bike on the trails for too long.

Cr Wellington also asked who would be "stumping up the cost of the infrastructure of new signage” - the council or the state. One suggestion was that because the council would receive the infringement revenue, it might end up paying for the new parking signs at a cost of thousands of dollars which the CEO estimated could cost around $20,000 for all four parks.


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