With the busy summer season approaching, the Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) is reminding visitors to Wave Break Island that the popular Broadwater destination is for day use only.
The reminder comes after GCWA recently succeeded in obtaining a court order to have an illegal camp removed from the island.
This is the first time GCWA has sought a court order to deal with illegal camping on Wave Break Island.
GCWA first became aware of the camp in April this year, following a tip-off from a member of the public.
An inspection of the site by GCWA’s Waterways Team revealed a sophisticated camp site consisting of a lockable 11.5 square metre building made of plywood with a tarpaulin roof.
There was 20 metres of camouflage netting preventing the building from being seen from the water and the team discovered folding seating, a picnic table and portable toilet nearby.
Acting CEO, Jessica Bourner, said GCWA was left with no choice but to take the person who erected the campsite to court after he failed to remove it from the island voluntarily.
‘Wave Break Island is a wonderful destination but it’s for day-visitors only,’ Ms Bourner said.
‘There are no facilities on the island to support camping and we’d encourage people using Wave Break to respect the natural environment and make sure they take their rubbish with them when they leave.
‘One person recently chose to set up camp on the island despite the restrictions and we’ve had to spend a lot of time, and taxpayers’ money, dealing with this issue.
‘This is money that could’ve been better spent on managing the waterways for the benefit of the wider community.’
As the State Government’s appointed trustee for Wave Break Island, GCWA has powers under the Land Act 1994 to deal with camping and building or placing of structures on the island.
Under an order issued by the Southport Magistrates Court, the person was required to remove all structures from the island and rectify any damage caused by the camp.
The illegal camper was also ordered not to return to the island in future and to pay GCWA’s court costs.
Ms Bourner said the Waterways Team had checked the site on Wave Break Island this week and all evidence of the campsite has been removed.
Since the illegal camp was first reported to GCWA, signs have been erected around the island advising visitors that camping is not permitted.
Wave Break Island was created in 1985 as part of the Gold Coast Seaway construction.