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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The evil side of activities in the bush

This is part of life which I simply do not understand.***

People obviously steal cars, and drive them as far as they can go, down a bush track - then set fire to the vehicle.

In this case, the car was dumped in the middle of the track at the entrance to the Budderoo National Park at the start of the Budderoo Fire Trail (approx. 1 Km off the Jamberoo Mountain Road). This is approximately 10 Km s-e from Robertson.Fortunately, in this case, the roadway (turning circle) was wide enough that when the car was burnt, it did not set fire to the bush. A similar incident at Missingham Lookout (near Belmore Falls) several months resulted in a fire in the bush, which was put out by the National Parks staff from the Morton Office (Fitzroy Falls). That fire destroyed the public toilet facilities at Belmore Falls. It could have been much worse if the fire had not been detected early.

The Budderoo Plateau is sensitive habitat, if the fire had spread from the turning point on the Budderoo Track it could easily have spread. The Budderoo Plateau is a sensitive environment, and is home to a number of endangered species, such as the Ground Parrot and the Eastern Bristlebird and no doubt many other species, some of which are probably not even reported as yet. (Many insects and frog species are barely known.)

This is just one of many burnt-out vehicles which I have found in the bush. This one is unusual in that the number plates are still recognisable.

Presumed Stolen Car
NSW Registration BB*12*KO
Mitsubishi 4WD vehicle (possibly a Pajero, but I am not an expert).

*** I had written "This is part of life in the bush which I simply do not understand", but on reflection, I believe it is something which reaches its conclusion in the bush, but I suspect it is actually part of the urban life cycle of disconnected people for whom crime and dangerous vandalism seems "normal". To me it seems a totally alien part of life.
I do not like it.
I certainly do not understand it.

****** ****** ******
Silly me.
I went to report this incident to the Robertson Police Station today (Friday).
It was closed.
There is a button to press, which apparently would connect with another Police Station which is "manned".
The sign indicated I ought not use that button unless it was an emergency.
Clearly this is not such a case.
There is another notice telling me to ring the Police Assistance Line (PAL)
The number is 131 444
Apparently the PAL line is staffed at Lithgow or Tuggerah Police Stations.
They are respectively 224 Km and 228 Km distant from Robertson.
Am I missing something?


mick said...

I agree! And then the other surprising thing is how long it takes some "authority" to get rid of the eyesore!

Junior Lepid said...

I agree with you, Denis - I cannot understand the mentality either. It probably happens here too, but thankfully, I am yet to experience such vandalism - on two fronts!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick and JL
I am sure it is a widespread practice.
The burning of the vehicle, presumably to destroy "evidence" (fingerprints?) is highly dangerous and potentially damaging to the environment.
But in this case, with the number plates still intact, I can only assume that the burning was regarded as part of the "thrill".

.The Police usually regard it as an insurance issue, to clean it up.
In this case it is pretty remote, and technically it falls in the South Coast Zone, but it is up on the highlands. A sort of no-man's-land apparently.
I am going to the Police Station to formally report it today (with my photos), but it has been "rung in" to them by NPWS and also local landholders already.
Problem is not the clean-up, of course. Real problem is the thieves and vandals who do it in the first place.

Gaye from the Hunter said...

Hello Denis,

If the toilet block that was destroyed at Belmore Falls was in the car park of the information centre, then what a lot of money would have went up in smoke, for that was an excellent facility (as I remember it years ago).

Like you, I feel it defies all logic. I think it must be some sort of warped entertainment exercise for the moronic. If vandals can be caught and forced to do hard manual labour in the clean up process, perhaps there would be instilled some sense of responsibility. And perhaps it would set the occasional offender on the right track and therefore result in a human that contributes in a worthwhile manner.


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Gaye
This was a small "bush dunny" at Belmore Falls, not the large and very fancy toilet facilities at the very popular Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre (which is in the same general area) about 8 Km away.
However, this small facility is now closed - awaiting the next NSW Government Budget to allocate funds to replace it.
Costs, plus inconvenience to the public.
And the vandals and thieves move on - unconcerned.
Enough to make me spit chips!

Anonymous said...

The time lag involved in the removal of dumped stolen vehicles may not necessarily be due to lack of action by "some authority".

The wreck is still the property of an individual or an insurance company. It may also be crime evidence. To dispose of the wreck without police and the owner's or insurance company's permission constitutes theft under the law. So, until the owner/insurance company is found and advised and then makes arrangements to remove the hulk, it stays there.

To assert that "some authority" is not doing it's job is perhaps an ill informed assumption.

Denis Wilson said...

Dear anonymous.
My problem is clearly with people who steal cars, and then burn them in the bush.
At no stage was I critical of any "authority".
I did point out that in January 2010 (two years ago) the Police Assistance Line was the only assistance available for me to report it to. And that was staffed at Lithgow and Tuggerah.
Draw your own conclusions.
The local NPWS did their job perfectly correctly and rang it in to the Police, as did local landholders, apparently.
I hope that you acknowledge that at no stage did I "assert that "some authority" is not doing it's job".
I look forward to an apology from you.
Denis Wilson