Flat Rock is usually a popular camping area in East Ballina.
Flat Rock is usually a popular camping area in East Ballina.

Flat Rock car park may close following overnight stays

PUBLIC access to a car park beside a popular camping ground at East Ballina is on the chopping block after an incident last weekend.

Ballina Shire mayor David Wright said highway patrol police caught people who had stayed overnight at the Flat Rock car park, and people who were not social distancing on Sunday morning.

After the issue was flagged with council, councillors are considering the prospect of restricting access to the secluded area.

The Flat Rock Tent Park has been shut down for some time due to COVID-19 restrictions, and overnight stays in the car park are prohibited.

The car park is accessed via one unsealed road off The Coast Road, which would be easy enough to shut.

Flat Rock Beach can be accessed via Sharpes Beach, however it is a 500m walk, and the Sharpes Beach car park fills up quickly on warm days without the added traffic.

“We don’t want to make people feel like they are in a prison,” Cr Wright said.

“We are considering closing that car park down, with people not doing the right thing.”

The Pat Morton (Lennox Point) and Lighthouse lookout carparks have been closed since Thursday, April 23.

Council was forced to close these areas due to residents from outside the area who were flouting COVID-19 restriction laws.

Across the Northern NSW Local Health District, latest figures revealed 45 of the 56 people who had fallen ill with COVID-19 have made a full recovery.

“I’m pretty proud of what we’re doing here,” Cr Wright said.

“It won’t be long before restrictions are lifted.”



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