Beach parking $2 an hour
ANYONE parking at Broken Head beach will now have to pay $2 per hour under fees brought in by the National Parks and Wildlife Service yesterday.
Tourists and locals alike must now pay the fee or fork out $22 for a yearly ticket.
The move has outraged some local residents, including Dave Tyrrell, of Byron Bay, who regularly surfs at Broken Head.
"We just don't feel like there should be another fee for parking at a beach at Byron," he said.
Mr Tyrrell said he already had to pay to park at other beaches around Byron Bay and the new fee would almost double the bill.
He said locals should be given a sticker which excludes them from having to pay parking fees at any of Byron Shire's beaches.
According to a National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman, people must pay the fees at Broken Head as it is "not a town beach".
"The fees help to provide the facilities and maintain them - things like managing the carpark, water facilities and those sort of general facilities," the spokesman said.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman also said the fees would go towards protecting NSW National Parks from pests and other threats.
Mr Tyrrell believed the fees were just a way for the National Parks and Wildlife Services to raise revenue for itself.
"There was car parking there before and you could park anywhere you wanted and it was fine," Mr Tyrrell recalled.
Another local surfer, Russell Mills, regularly used Broken Head beach and said charging people to use the busy carpark was basic "supply and demand".
However, Mr Mills said that "as long as (the fee) isn't outrageous", it was acceptable.
"It's just inconvenient," he said.
Bangalow resident Layton Barton said Broken Head's parking fees had turned him off of using the beach.
"It's pretty rubbish," Mr Barton said. "I won't come here if it's paid, I'll just go to one of the other beaches."
The National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman said people who regularly used NSW National Parks should buy a NSW Country Parks Pass for $45. The pass allowed them to enter any NSW National Park, except Mt Kosciusko.
"I've got a Country Parks Pass," Mr Mills said. "It's pretty good value."
Pension Concession Card holders can apply for an Exemption Card, allowing them free access to Broken Head Nature Reserve.