In Ellis Beach ‘shanty’ that divides the locals: camper refuses to leave and claims to ‘clean the beach’
A green-fingered camper who has illegally built a home and yard near oceanfront homes on a tourist beach has explained why she should stay.
Diana McKinstry, who pitched her tent at Ellis Beach, north of Cairns in April after losing her job, said she helps by picking up dozens of bottles and cans.
She spoke out after complaints from local residents and warnings from authorities that her beachfront home could be swept away by fierce weather.
Diana McKinstry (pictured) says she’s cleaning Ellis Beach, where she’s been camping illegally since April 2020
A rebel camper has taken advantage of the state’s inaction to grow fruit and vegetables at an illegal campground (photo) on Ellis Beach, near Cairns
“I’m not hurting anyone,” Mrs. McKinstry told 9 News.
“I call my camp Golden Tent, that’s my palace.”
The makeshift home has a kitchen under a blue tarpaulin with pans and utensils hanging from trees just yards from the ocean.
She added that no one has demanded her dismantle the camp, saying, “I would like to move on.”
Brett Olds, of the Cairns Regional Council, said Ms. McKinstry had taken advantage of the apparent inactivity of the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).
“It’s a beautiful drive between Cairns and Port Douglas, but you can’t miss this awful roadside shelter with a vagrancy,” Mr. Olds told Daily Mail Australia.
Mr. Olds also warned the tent could be endangered by predicted king tides or even cyclones, saying he had been told by TMR that they are “training officers” to evict it.
Rebel camper Diana McKinstry in the kitchen on the beach of her roadside campsite
‘They’re useless down there, they’re 100 percent reluctant. How long does it take to train someone to take a person?
“The problem is that the council can’t move her if we want to, because it’s the land of the Main Roads.”
Mr. Olds says the local police are waiting for a written request from the ministry, which he claims they turned down because “they say the police have more important things to do.”
“She may be struggling, but there are places where she can get a roof over her head.”
“A lot of tourists travel that road, the first thing they see is that pit, it’s not a good advertisement for our region,” he told 9 News.
Opinions on the illegal camper were divided on social media, with some pointing to her clear violation of the law, while others being sympathetic.
The more I think about these things, the more I realize that the only reason why rules like ‘no camping’ exist is purely because the government and the city don’t get money from people who choose to stay in a certain way. life, ‘a Facebook user wrote.
“She’s totally sustainable with her life, good for her.”
Some pointed out that she was not looking for an award: “She is clearly homeless and trying to survive. She cannot beg in the street and sleep under bridges.
‘She’s not at the door to ask. She does it all by herself. I bet all these whiners don’t even donate a penny to charity. ‘
But some social media users agreed with Mr Olds.
‘I can’t miss it from the road, totally thorn in the side of a beautiful place’, a local resident wrote on Facebook.
Camper has claimed a large waterfront campground at Ellis Beach to park her car, set up a table, pitch a tent, and grow fruits and vegetables (all in the photo)
Another commented, “I bet all the people here who are by her side would love it if she set up camp in their front yards.”
‘I drove past the camp, I think more than one person lives there. Looks like a complete garbage dump and is a real eyesore. Come on people, put them on. ‘
“Pity those who have to pay rates and a mortgage for land facing the beach!” Where is it fair?
“Homeless people get a lot of help and support, but won’t accept it, because why would you live there with a free view of the beach!”
Plenty also saw the funny side of the situation: ‘This is fantastic! The bureaucracy has finally tied up knots and disappeared into its own bastard. Hilarious. What a hoot! ‘
‘Your multi-millionaire neighbors will have to put up with it. Play Kevin Bl ** dy Wilson’s Living Next Door to Alan at full volume. ‘
Some were just jealous of her free-living lifestyle:
“If she’s a nice lady and can save herself, what’s the matter, I’m a little jealous of her, she really seems free and living her best life!”
‘Maybe I’ll also set up a tent, free rent and a beautiful view. My two big dogs would love it too, ‘one said.
The beaches north of Cairns are popular with tourists and holiday makers, some of whom own and rent oceanfront bungalows