Despite being cleared out by NSW Police and Northern Beaches Council in October 2022, campers have returned to the dunes at Dee Why.
This follows a violent altercation at one of the campsites in October, where a man set fire to a tent and was seen chasing another with a machete.
A report showed renewed activity in the area, with thefts and drug paraphernalia being found by beachgoers in recent weeks. Drone footage of the new campsite near the Dee Why lagoon has also emerged, according to the Manly Observer.
The issue of illegal camping in the area is well-known to police, Northern Beaches Council, and locals, with many complaints over what residents have described as a makeshift ‘tent city’ being responsible for various anti-social behavior, as well as environmental damage. NSW Police have referred the issue to the council as the responsible agency.
Northern Beaches Council confirmed that campers have indeed returned and are working to relocate them to temporary accommodation for the homeless.
A spokesperson for the council said that since the issue arose in 2020, several individuals have taken up the offer of relocation, but recent efforts have been rebutted.
According to the Council CEO, the organization has been working with relevant homeless support agencies for several years now to assist those living in the dunes at Dee Why. Still, the assistance has been declined by those living in the dunes.
He added that the council would continue to take a balanced and compassionate approach to work with relevant agencies to support the individuals affected.
Council also confirmed that consider impacts to the dune environment have occurred and that signage and fencing have been installed to ask people to keep out of the area while dune restoration is in progress.
They urged anyone who has witnessed any incident of criminal activity to contact local police for investigation.