Eleven people have been charged following unauthorised gatherings held at national parks on the state’s north coast overnight.
Just after 9.15pm (Saturday 16 October 2021), police were alerted to an unauthorised gathering being held within bushland at Tyagarah Nature Reserve.
Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District attended, and the crowd dispersed into bushland.
About 1am (Sunday 17 October 2021), police were alerted to a separate event at Billinudgel Nature Reserve and shut down the event, dispersing the crowd.
The organiser, a 25-year-old man, was spoken to with sound and lighting equipment and prohibited drugs seized from the site.
The Byron Bay man was issued a cannabis caution after being found in possession of cannabis as well as a $1,000 PIN for breaching the Public Health Order and an infringement for the consumption of alcohol in a National Park.
Police established a stationary breath testing site at the intersection of Jones and Wooyung Roods.
During the operation 10 drivers were charged, five with low-range PCA and five with Mid-Range PCA. They will all face court at a later date. An additional four drivers were issued infringements for traffic offences.
Of note, a Toyota Hiace was stopped by officers on Wooyong Road, after failing to stop at the site.
The driver fled into nearby bushland and following a foot pursuit, the 21-year-old man, was found injured, with a suspected fractured ankle.
He was treated by paramedics and taken to Tweed Hospital, under police guard, for treatment.
The man was later transferred to Tweed Heads Police Station and charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period. An outstanding warrant was also executed.
He is due to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on Monday 6 December 2021.
Inquiries continue to identify attendees and further breaches.
Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent David Roptell said unauthorised gatherings of this type will not be tolerated and we appeal to the community to report suspected breaches which may impact on the health and safety of the community.
Not only are events like these illegal, but they also pose a serious safety risk to attendees and responding police due to the location and terrain, Supt Roptell said.
“The local community and environment are also being impacted by the noise and the rubbish left behind.
“Police will work closely with National Parks and Wildlife Services to target these events and prosecute offenders accordingly,” Supt Roptell said.
Anyone with information about is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.