Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Illegal campers moved on

Campers staying illegally in Banyule State Forest were asked to move on by Parks Victoria during the New Year break.

TRENT HORNEMAN January 7, 2013 4:24am

Echuca resident John Warman is concerned about campers and rubbish in a section of Banyule State Forest, near Sutton St.

Parks Victoria has removed campers staying illegally in Banyule State Forest during the New Year break.

Acting ranger in charge of the Murray Riverine region Bruce Wehner said rangers asked campers to move on and would clean the section of forest upstream from Echuca-Moama bridge.

He said Parks Victoria would also fix signs which had been damaged in the region.

Echuca resident John Warman, who regularly walks through the forest, said he was keen to see action taken after rubbish was strewn throughout the forest.

He spent six hours on the phone last week, trying to find the authority responsible for managing the park.

‘‘I just wanted to make sure that someone was taking responsibility for what was going on in the forest,’’ he said.

‘‘First of all, there is no camping in the forest. It is a problem every long weekend or holiday period and what makes it worse is the rubbish that is left behind.’’

The items Mr Warman found included toilet paper, food and other camping rubbish, an old toilet and other waste.

‘‘I have no problem with cleaning the area off my own bat, but I want to make sure that the authorities are taking responsibility,’’ he said.

‘‘After New Year’s Eve, people would be stepping over faeces to walk the track.

‘‘On the way in a sign which said rubbish dumping and off-road driving prohibited had been broken off for some time. It reads ‘off-road driving and rubbish dump’ which is pretty accurate at the moment.’’

Mr Wehner said Parks Victoria staff were busy monitoring camping sites during the Christmas and New Year period.

He said Parks Victoria staff did not closely monitor Banyule State Forest because it was meant to be a no camping area.

‘‘We went in there and asked the campers to move. We will have to go back in there and clean the site,’’ he said.

Mr Wehner said forests close to townships tended to be ‘‘no-camping’’ areas.

Campers in Echuca Village were also responsible for an unattended campfire on Thursday, he said.

‘‘It is pretty disappointing. Not only were they in a no-camping area, but they also left an unattended campfire,’’ he said.

‘‘We patrol an area from Torrumbarry to Barmah, visiting camps along the river. It is a wide area to cover.

‘‘If people see campers doing the wrong thing they can call Parks Victoria on 131963.’’

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