Broome to clamp illegal campers
Backpackers Adrian Hyland from Ireland and Nora Langerdder from Germany at Town Beach in Broome. Picture: Glenn Cordingley/The West Australian.

Broome has become the first town in WA to introduce wheel clamping to stop backpackers camping illegally in council-run carparks at local beaches.

Shire president Graeme Campbell said the public were becoming tired of people using public parking bays as camp sites, with camp chairs, cookers and tables set up on the bitumen.

Campers were using public toilets as their own personal showers and laundrettes.

Mr Campbell said the council had a duty to act because campers were spoiling the appearance of popular spots such as Cable Beach and Town beach. They often took more than two bays to set up ugly makeshift annexes using ropes, bricks or even large water containers to hold it all together.

"There is a deep resentment in the community against this sort of thing - it is ugly, it poses health risks, it is illegal and carparks in Broome are not the places for them," he said.

Mr Campbell said there was no shortage of camp sites in Broome.

Backpackers Adrian Hyland, from Ireland, and Nora Langerdder, from Germany, said they had camped at Town beach carpark because it was free and "everyone else was doing the same thing".

"We did not set out to camp in a carpark, it just happened because there were a lot of vans out here, so we decided to do the same," Mr Hyland said.

Last year, the council adopted a local law permitting wheel clamps when a vehicle was parked without permission on shire property, in a thoroughfare or in a public place for the purpose of sleeping inside.

Illegal campers can be fined $100 and rangers have the power to clamp vehicles if other means of enforcement are ignored.

The West Australian

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