Redhead locals have had a gut full. For the best part of a decade Nine Mile Beach and the surrounding dunes have been a magnet for increasing numbers of camping enthusiasts from as far away as Sydney.
Some say they now feel unsafe in their own backyard.
"Although most people do the right thing, beach campers at Redhead have a long history of bad behaviour. Most locals no longer use the park for camping as they feel unsafe with drunken hoons driving around most of the night," resident Shaun Tamplin said.
There are also environmental concerns. Residents recently paid for water sampling of Third Creek, which revealed moderate fecal coliform levels.
"It's not unusual to see more than 10 kids swimming in this lagoon on a hot day. Frankly, it's a mess," Mr Tamplin said. While the state park's 2010 plan of management lists camping as a prohibited activity on the beach and foredunes, it has been allowed on an informal basis.
While the state park's 2010 plan of management lists camping as a prohibited activity on the beach and foredunes, it has been permitted on an informal basis.
Camping has not been allowed in the park since August due to COVID 19 restrictions. It will not be permitted until new government-funded toilet facilities are installed.
Tensions between the community and the park's administrator reached boiling point last week, resulting in graffiti being scrawled across a local road calling for the administrator's dismissal.
A Crown Lands spokesman said the park's management was working on plans to establish a new designated off-beach campground area to manage and appropriately cater for camping.
"Community consultation will soon be undertaken to review the current Plan of Management, which will include seeking public input on whether beach camping should be supported in a designated managed area," he said.
Mr Tamplin said the community supported a well-serviced camping area in the back dunes but wanted an end to overnight beach camping.
"We don't want the park shut down, we just want to see the same standards that are applied in every other park on the east coast applied here," he said.
"The current plan was built up with the input and hard work of many Redhead locals and we are simply asking that the park stick to that plan."
Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison encouraged locals to participate in the community consultation process.
"People should certainly make their views known as part of the community consultation on the plan of management," she said.
"I am also seeking the government's response to concerns raised with me by Redhead residents about current use of the park."
IN THE NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.