A 4WD driver has been left almost $5,000 out of pocket after illegally entering a flood recovery work zone and becoming stuck in a remote part of a NSW national park.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has issued a fine and formal cautions against the driver, who entered Mooball National Park, south east of Murwillumbah, through closed gates, ignoring the park signage advising that the park was closed.
The driver was charged with offences under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 and ordered to pay $4,800 in fines and vehicle recovery costs.
Mooball National Park is currently closed to the public until early next year due to ongoing flood repairs.
A number of significant landslips have impacted Baranbali Road and Wabba Road and heavy plant and machinery are currently operating in and out of the park working through the necessary repairs.
NPWS Principal Project Officer, Silas Sutherland, said the roads in Mooball National Park are closed because there is a legitimate risk to the safety of visitors driving on those roads.
“By ignoring the closures, you not only put yourself at risk but you are exacerbating the damage and making it more difficult for us to repair,” he said. “The driver ignored three separate signs stating, ‘Park Closed’ and ‘Road Closed’, to reach their final destination.”
The vehicle was found abandoned in steep terrain, and a number of NPWS staff, tow trucks and large plant were needed to retrieve it.
The floods of 2022, and subsequent rainfall, has resulted in a number of significant landslips and sections of the road have been undermined.
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