LETTER: Doof heads trashing our environment
I UNDERSTAND that some people just want to have fun, but why do they think its their right to trash Byron's environment when they do?
On Saturday night a doof was once again held at the Tallow Creek estuary in the Arakwal National Park. They have become regular events, apparently supported by some of the town's tourism businesses.
Hundreds of people (some say over a thousand) lit fires and twirled firesticks in the middle of a total fire ban, dancing the night away to blaring music at one of Byron Shire's most environmentally significant sites.
The estuary is a roosting area for migratory wading birds that need to rest there to build up their fat reserves on their perilous annual migration to Asia and Russia, as well as a number of threatened species. There's no rest for them.
Rainbow Bee-eaters and Striated Pardalotes have dug nesting tunnels into the face of the dunes around the estuary. A precarious place to raise their young at the best of times. The Parks Service tried to protect some by erecting a fence and putting up signs.
Undeterred people trampled the dunes. I wonder how many babies were entombed.
Animals of all sorts would have been scarred out of their wits and fled the scene.
Then there is the rubbish trampled into the sand. While the organisers piled up some of the surface rubbish (for taxpayers to pay Parks Service to remove), I found the sand was full of cigarette butts and other rubbish, awaiting the next storm to be carted into the sea to feed fish and turtles.
There is still broken glass buried in the beach and along the tracks, a danger for the unwary.
Though of equal concern is the excrement from all those people, as no toilets were provided. Locals found people pissing in the estuary and shitting on its banks. So beware if you take your kids or grandkids there.
I would like to thank the police, Parks Service and Council for shutting it down on Sunday morning, but they need help from anyone who knows anything to stop this ongoing vandalism. Please help stop these people from trashing our few remaining natural areas, there are better places for tourists to party.