Irresponsible behaviour could cost access

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 22:09
ThreadID: 5292 Views:1996 Replies:10 FollowUps:12
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Great PR for 4wdriving in todays Canberra Times.
Seems the irresponsible minority has bred considerably if reports that up to 50 4wd's turned the camping area at Bendethra in the Duea nat park into a quagmire by chucking doughnuts in the valley. Also reported that they "practised multiple river crossings due to swollen river conditions and attempted hillclimbs up recently graded roads in wet conditions."
bet they will whinge like cut cats if access gets restricted.
might be better if the culprits get cut, atleast they wont breed.
I know its unaustralian but to dob, but these idiots put public access by 4wd at risk and I would urge anyone who can do so to identify those responsible to the authorities either NPWS or police.
Personally I dont see the need to cross a swollen river multiple times . these d++heads were obviously lost and keep backtracking.
perhaps they should stay at home, wait for rain and go to the rubbish tip if they want to get their vehicles all muddy.
I've vented my spleen, over to the forum.

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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 22:43

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 22:43
Someone must have an idea of who it was if there were 50-60 cars involved.

Heres the story.

AnswerID: 21880

Follow Up By: Time - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 07:55

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 07:55
I gather (from my club contacts) that a few number plates were recorded by other visitors to the valley and will be passed onto the appropriate authorities.

One hopes that the rusty razor blades will be brought into use! It is a shame that God put breath into some of these cretins.


FollowupID: 14306

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 10:54

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 10:54
Just read it. BASTARDS!!

I'm not a club member, but if this crap keeps up, we may have to support closure of these areas except to registered club groups (similar to the arrangements at Menai in Sydney), or on a locked gate/key access system like Big Yengo north of Sydney. At least that way there would be a record of those in the area and any damage could be better traced to the culprits. They could then be "black-listed" and denied access to any/all such areas.

It would make it tougher for non-members like me, but I'd rather pay that price than lose access altogether. Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 14324

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 13:03

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 13:03
THats what lost me, if people were so sure there were 40-50, surely they would have been takin photos of them, number plates, makes and models of car, and lots more.. SHouldnt take long to rip them a newbleep...

But laws being what they are, they will recieve councilling, and a GOv Grant for Art.... They will call it ... ART..
FollowupID: 14330

Reply By: Member - Richard- Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 10:00

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 10:00
We know how you feel. The Deua national park has been on the Government list of parks to put into a wilderness area and these sorts of actions could easily tip the balance. We recently completed a trip into the Victorian High Country and we were disapointed by the actions of some cretins who had purposely creating mud holes to have their childish fun. They seem not to know that the erotion caused spreads so eventually what was 4 metres wide ends up 20m wide and then the track would have to be closed. The other disappointing thing we noticed was the amount of rubbish, mainly beer and soft drink cans beside the track in the lower reaches of the area. On of our group had to rescue a Black snake who had its head caught in a beer can. Not an easy exercise as the snake, whilst groggy, did not appreciate the gesture. We collected all our rubbish and took it to the tip at Dargo halfway through the trip and took the opportunity to have lunch at the old saw mill and fill up with fuel.
Richard and Leonie, The grey nomads.
AnswerID: 21902

Reply By: Member - Kevin (NSW/ACT) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 12:25

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 12:25
I was in Bendethra the weekend in question, leading an organised club trip on behalf of my club - the Landrover Club of the ACT. We were 14 vehicles in total and none of our vehicles moved once we set up camp early on Saturday afternoon until we left early on Sunday morning.

A group of about 16 vehicles passed us on the way in and we saw some evidence of damage as we drove to our campsite at the old homestead site - mainly muddy wheel ruts in the grass where people had driven off the track. This group camped up the northern far end of the valley and we really didn't see or hear much of them over the weekend. I spoke to one of them as they passed us and know they were not members of a club - just a bunch of mates out for a good time. I went for a drive towards where they were camped prior to leaving and saw more damage - more ruts and donuts on grassed areas.

During the afternoon and Saturday night we heard a lot of loud explosions to our south, the opposite direction from us that this large group were camped. Some of our members were quite concerned, fearing they were shotgun blasts while others thought they were extremely loud firecrackers. We settled on firecrackers as nobody in our group felt like checking them out - just in case they weren't.

As we headed out of the valley for home we came across another group camp of perhaps 8 very muddy vehicles who were not there when we came in. Across from their camp area was the damaged area that has featured in photos issued by NPWS. We were horrified at the damage caused by whoever was responsible for this act of extreme vandalism. If it was caused by the group camped opposite it is even more distressing to me as there were several young children with that group - I can only wonder at the message they would have been left with.

It seems to me that there were at least two groups in Bendethra that weekend causing mayhem. One of the attractions of the area is that it is so spread out that many large groups could easily camp and not see or hear the others.

We reported the damage to NPWS immediately we could. As we didn't actually see anybody in the act of causing the damage NPWS advised it is highly unlikely that any charges could be laid based on our reports. Hopefully some of the other campers in the valley have better evidence that will lead to those responsible being punished. Photographs of vehicles in the act of causing damage that show the vehicles registration numbers are the best form of evidence apparently.

The Landrover Club of the ACT does not condone this type of irresponsible behaviour and like many other clubs we fully support and adhere to Tread Lightly priciples and guidelines. We have offered to work with NPWS to help restore the area so it can continue to be enjoyed by all responsible visitors. Unfortunately, the acts of the irresponsible are making it increasingly likely that it will become more difficult for us to do so.

Kevin - sitting here, thinking of there
2002 GU Patrol ST 4.2TD
2000 15' Supreme Getaway
AnswerID: 21910

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 13:52

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 13:52
Good post Kevin. And well done for reporting it.

Its starting to get every man for themselves.. Us and Them..

Us: that DO care
Them: the rest.

But whats with the LRC and a Patrol ;) TRAITOR!!!!! :D
FollowupID: 14338

Follow Up By: Michelle from ExplorOz - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 14:24

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 14:24
If you haven't thought of it already, I would submit your report of the situation to Tread Lightly! Australia and also get a copy to the NP office involved, and get a copy to the webmaster where this document appears. I will contact the directors of Tread Lightly myself (ExplorOz is partner of Tread Lightly!) and get their interest in follow up.

What concerns me is that if the NPWS misquote numbers and give a bad name to the recreation. If it really is 8 cars, or even 8+15 then this number needs to be altered before other media pick up on this. Of course, the culprits did the wrong thing and we don't condone this, but bad eggs are in every recreation and part of our society and the 4WD community needs to protect itself from stereotyping of this nature. If the facts disprove the quote, then we must get the facts out there and protect ourselves. ExplorOz
FollowupID: 14342

Follow Up By: Mark - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 17:59

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 17:59
Re: The shotgun blast. We camped on the outskirts of Deua a couple of years ago and heard what sounded like shotgun blast through the night. Had a uneasy night as it sounded like the blast were getting closer & we thought some nutter was coming down the river shooting people like in the movie "Deliverance". Anyway next morning & a chat with the Ranger confirmed it was nothing more than the local farmers with some automatic fruit bat scaring device. Slept better the second night ....
FollowupID: 14367

Reply By: flappan - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 13:24

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 13:24
Good to see someone has at least SOME idea of what may have happened down there.

I have NO doubt that NO ACT 4wd club would be involved in that type of activity. Its one of ACT's favourite playgrounds, I destroying it, would sevre us no purpose.

It also does make a fair bit of sense that several different groups may have been involved.

What doesn't make sense is how NO ONE can be identified . . . .yet.
AnswerID: 21917

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 13:46

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 13:46
Flappin, I agree...

bleep ing in your own backyards would serve nobody any purpose but get yourselves shot!

Im thinking it was more like 10-15 cars, doesnt sounds as drastic as 40-50 ..40-50 is a HELL of an amount of cars for one trip!! If there was 40-50, then there would be at least 20 number plates taken by people.. Wouldnt be that hard to do would it?

But if it was that many it could really only be a club of some form from somewhere... I dont have 10-15 friends let alone 40-50 with 4b's...

I think the rusty razorblades has merit.
FollowupID: 14336

Follow Up By: flappan - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 14:50

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 14:50
Still cant see it being a "club" of any offical capacity. Apparently there was ACT and NSW plates (don't know if there were any other states involved), so possibly it may have been a "workplace" type club.

The other thing I have heard was that, there were 2 groups of about 20 vehicles that WEREN"T involved in this at all, but were in reasonably close proximity to the action, but for various reasons, including a WHOLE heap of antisocial behaviour didn't investigate it too hard (can understand that to). Then there were a couple of groups again about 20 vehicles in total that MAY have been involved. ie there's your 40 vehicles.

None of the "good" group actualy saw the "bad" guys doing anything, probably done under darkness, so its pretty hard to point a finger if you really don't know whats happening. It may be that they were involved because some of the vehicles were quite muddy, but, they could have got that on the tracks.

Surprises me though, that nobody bothered to jot down a few number plates, on suspicion, if nothing else.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing though isn't it.
FollowupID: 14343

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 15:55

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 15:55
Hindsight, wish you could buy it at K-Mart!!!

Have a read of Kevins post in this thread, says a lot there.
FollowupID: 14351

Follow Up By: Member - Bill- Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 17:05

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 17:05
>Still cant see it being a "club" of any offical capacity. Apparently there >was ACT and NSW plates (don't know if there were any other states >involved), so possibly it may have been a "workplace" type club.

You could be onto something here, without denegrating the trade in general (mostly good blokes), a lesser element of the art feel they have no need for the support network/social framework of a club, and do things on their own, after all, they know it all. Customers in the ACT/Qnbyn area should let their shops know of this and that the 4WD community in general is not happy Jan.Regds

FollowupID: 14362

Reply By: Mark - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 18:07

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 18:07
I've got into the habit of writing down fellow campers rego numbers before setting up camp. If anything untoward happens & they dissapear early morning then I have some form of ID to pass on to the Authoritys. Another idea is to photograth or video these hoons in the act if possible, along with the damage they cause, can't beat solid evidence. We all need to stand tough with these morons before all our access priveleges are taken away.
AnswerID: 21940

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 18:25

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 18:25
What should happen is that anyone caught cutting up and running amock in this outrageous and irresponsible matter should not only be charged with causing criminal damage, they should also be made to pay restitution. Hit 'em wear it really the hip pocket.

I knew of someone years ago who cut up a stretch of road that was under contruction. He thought is was a hoot until he got dobbed in and had to pay about $15,000 worth of damages.

First the buggars have to be caught though and here I have a word of caution. Be careful who you're dealing with. Being caught photgraphing or video taping the culprits in action could create a very uncomfortable situation. A few years back we camped at Lane Pool Reserve and spent a night from hell due to the deplorable behaviour of a nearby group and one individual in particular. We kept a low profile and waited for daylight so we could get the hell out of there. A young couple nearby called out at 2am in the morning for the idiots to be quiet. Subsequently they were hounded, intimidated and abused for hours. At the break of dawn they threw everything into their car and made a run for it. Unobstrusively we noted down the culprits number plates and reported the incident to the ranger. I don't know if anything ever happened though.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 21944

Follow Up By: Member - Chris (W.A.) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 18:53

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 18:53
We camped at Lane Poole about two years ago after they erected the ranger station at the main entrance. Went down to the river for half an hour and some filthy scumbag stole our gas bottle and gas lantern extension from within our tent. Kama soon got the better of the little pr*ck and whilst he was hooning off in his little Suzuki Sierra (white one with custom made trayback for anyone reading this from the Dwellingup area) he must of hit a bump in the road which fractured the stem of the gas bottle releasing copius amounts of LPG - if only he had been smoking. A nearby camper had witnessed him getting rid of the damaged gear, put two & two together and managed to pursue the infidel in his own car. Even with him blaring his horn and chasing this bloke the three or four rangers at the station sat there watching the whole thing unfold - didn't even get the number plate as he drove past them within three metres - what are they there for? I'm sure they're supposed to be observant in their line of work - even record plates of ALL vehicles entering and leaving. Nothing to do with burnouts in national parks but this bloke would be one of them.
I waited two years to say that:)Love the bush.
FollowupID: 14373

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 21:07

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 21:07
Law Enforcement & the NSW NPWS - for those that don't know most NPWS staff you see in the parks are not law enforcement trained they are field officers (FO's) the one with green shirts that do the general maintenance - the field officers have not been trained for dealing with difficult people and confrontational situations - some FO's may have training but not many. It is only the Rangers that have training in law enforcement and they usually have a cream /off white dress shirt on - the FO's will generally call the Rangers to act if they are in the area.
If members of the public see any thing which should be reported surely take a photograph etc if it is safe to do so and note down all that you can. It is best not to confort them for safety concerns. If you are to report things you have to be basically willing to turn up to court otherwise the information is hearsay info and the rangers cannot act on it. So rid us of these idiots and be ready to turn up for court.Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
AnswerID: 21955

Reply By: Member - Colin (ACT region) - Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 23:04

Thursday, Jun 05, 2003 at 23:04
Deep breath ..................... similar behavior to this was reported/supported (there were photos !) on another 4WD mag web site a while ago. When I made comments that this was unacceptable behavior and was damaging the environment, I was dumped on by the contributors and the 'Editor'.
I don't visit that site anymore or buy the Mag.Colin - Subaru Forester
- size isn't everything - weight is ! -
AnswerID: 21966

Reply By: Troopie - Friday, Jun 06, 2003 at 14:15

Friday, Jun 06, 2003 at 14:15
I hate this!!!!

We continually see this sort of thing going on - but why is it we (4wd owners) seem in-capable of doing something about it. I'd be the last person to suggest restricting access (to club members only etc) - but like earlier posts - if this is what is needed to maintain access at all - then I guess so be it.

I hope that some of the bleeping bleep bleeps that caused this damage visit this site and see what mindless, green single-cell scum your fellow Australians and 4wd owners view you as!!!

To those mindless twits - may your air-intakes be filled with water, your engines expire and diffs explode at random and regular occaisons for the rest of your painfull presence behind the wheel of a 4wd.
AnswerID: 21985

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Friday, Jun 06, 2003 at 21:16

Friday, Jun 06, 2003 at 21:16
Is this the same magazine that has the editor pretending to dig out a National Park sign on a beach ?Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
FollowupID: 14446

Reply By: Member - Bill- Friday, Jun 06, 2003 at 20:07

Friday, Jun 06, 2003 at 20:07
This just made Stateline on the ABC here in Sydney tonight, quoted more or less from the press release...

Nothing about looking for culprits etc, just the usual story positioned to re-inforce a commonly held perception of 4WD'ers as hooligans.


AnswerID: 21999

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