Port Stephens Dismayed With Rubbish Left By Visitors As Region Launches Tourism Campaign

Just some of the waste left by visitors on Samurai Beach as travel restrictions have eased.


WITH the launch of the ‘Incredible by Nature’ tourism campaign for Port Stephens to drive further visitation to the region, many locals have been left scratching their heads at its messaging.

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During peak times the area is already being “loved to death” with the local environment and infrastructure feeling the strain.

Jam packed roads and car parks, congested boat ramps, overflowing crowds at beaches and growing incidents of trashed land and seascapes have many wondering how much more Port Stephens can take.

Less than a month after travel restrictions have lifted some of the natural wonders the campaign focuses on are seeing mounds of rubbish return and locals have had enough.

Jye Astley, a local tradesmen and surfer says that each weekend there is increasing waste being left by visitors on Samurai Beach and that it’s time to address the harsh realities tourism can bring.

“Throughout the pandemic lockdown period all our local beaches were pretty much spotless, vegetation was starting to come back along the dunes and there was a real sense that locals were looking after our natural environment,” said Jye.

“Now with tourists returning I see mounds of rubbish left by those visiting and illegally camping along the beach.

“I love to travel myself but they need to take their rubbish with them and abide by the local guidelines, it’s not bloody rocket science.”

In an escalating trend it’s also been up to local surfers and fishermen to remind visitors to clean up after themselves according to numerous Port Stephens’ community based social media pages.

With rangers from local authorities failing to take action, surfers have been taking photos of number plates and having stern conversations with visitors about leaving rubbish and trashing the landscapes.

“In the long run it’s the locals who will suffer the consequences of the constant disrespect people show our area when they come here,” said Jye.

“We’ll all be locked out of our own backyards for good because of the actions of a few.”


By Mitch LEES

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