Byron Shire Council headquarters at Mullumbimby
Byron Shire Council headquarters at Mullumbimby

Byron councillors call for towing powers

THE possibility of tow away zones in Byron Shire has come a step closer, with councillors voting to approach the State government and seek the legal powers to remove illegally parked vehicles.

Paul Spooner was the only councillor to vote against the motion put by Diane Woods, who said it was designed to prevent people parking overnight in residential areas, partying there and using the streets as a public toilet.

The situation had been particularly acute during New Year's Eve, Cr Woods said, but added that it now occurred "every weekend".

And it was not restricted to Byron Bay, she said. Someone had told he r about a man who had pitched camp by his van behind the co-op in Brunswick Heads and had been discovered showering there.

"He was well set up" - although he didn't have any toilet facilities, she said.

The motion passed was that council staff write to the relevant State government department and the local member requesting the same legal powers as the police - powers it is understand have already been granted to council officers in the City of Sydney.

Staff were also to provide councillors with a list of the high use problem areas in the shire - although council's executive manager of corporate management, Mark Arnold, said the problems tended to move about.

In response to a question from Alan Hunter, Mr Arnold said that signage and enforcement had had some effect on offending.

Cr Spooner objected to the motion, which contained a clause that sought to have the issue raised at next Thursday's public forum, because "it isn't the right time".

"We are deciding on a direction to solve a problem while at the same time consulting the community."

That would confuse the government departments and pre-empt the community's decision, he said.



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