Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) Chief Executive Officer, Hal Morris, today issued a warning to illegal campers in Doug Jennings Park – move out or face the full force of the law.

Mr Morris said the Authority had made significant progress to secure the necessary powers to penalise those who don’t do the right thing. “We’ve been working closely with the State Government to achieve a permanent, long-term solution to the problem of illegal camping,” Mr Morris said.

“We’ve listened to the community’s frustrations and we’ve worked hard to obtain the powers to issue fines which we have now secured.” Mr Morris said until now, the Authority had focused on a staged, integrated response of infrastructure improvements, communication and now compliance.

“The next stage for compliance is enforcement through the issue of $120.00 on-the-spot fines that will come into effect on Monday 3 April 2017, or up to $1,200.00 if we take them to court.” he said.

“We will have officers, accompanied by police, reminding people to do the right thing. We’re encouraging the responsible enjoyment of Doug Jennings Park. It’s a place for everybody to enjoy. Camping, just like the sign says, is not permitted.”

As trustee of the Park, GCWA will be taking action against people who choose to break the law. In the weeks leading up to Easter, GCWA will have the ability to issue fines for a range of offences including littering, lighting fires and other inappropriate behaviours.

GCWA has offered assistance to those in the park experiencing homelessness by providing information about the available network of social services in the area.