POLICE have warned selfie-obsessed sightseers to stay out of flood-ravaged towns in northern NSW.
Police thanked the countless volunteers who were out in force assisting flood affected residents throughout Tumbulgum, Murwillumbah and Chinderah while warning sticky-beaks to stay out.
It comes after numerous reports surfaced of people visiting the towns for sightseeing purposes and obtaining ‘selfies’ with residents’ destroyed property piled up in the background.
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An angered Commander of the Tweed/Byron Local Command Area Superintendant Wayne Starling said flood-ravaged communities were not tourist attractions and “disaster tourists” were not welcome.
“A large number of our community members who were severely affected are focused on restoring their lives and property to some degree of normality,” Supt Starling said.
“It is neither appropriate nor respectful to attend these areas for the sole purpose of sightseeing.
“Moreover, it may be dangerous given the condition of the roads in and around the area as well as the general condition of the area as the recovery process moves forward.
“As the weekend approaches, unless you are entering flood affected areas to provide community support, which is greatly appreciated by those affected, police ask that you consider the circumstances of our community members and not enter the disaster area.
“Police are actively patrolling flood affected areas and you will be turned away if you are attending as a disaster tourist; not only for your own safety but also so that the community can focus on the recovery effort.”