Vandalism rears its ugly head in national parks

Published: September 9, 2015

The unwelcome spectre of vandalism and illegal dumping has reared its ugly head again at campsites in some of the country’s most iconic national parks.

A case in point is the Pinch River campground in the Kosciuszko National Park in south east New South Wales. The National Parks and Wildlife Service says it is now speaking with police and increasing its own patrols after a spate of vandalism incidents … as well as evidence being found of illegal hunting activity.

“They had gone to a lot of trouble and pulled out all the bollards and burnt bollards and made a really big mess, so far anyone coming after them it wasn’t a pretty sight,” Snowy River area manager Pam O’Brien, told the ABC.  “They had left just household garbage as well as burnt gas bottles, bottles, things like that.”

Illegal shooters have also been targeting deer and horses around popular campsites in the Lower Snowy River area near the Victorian border.

“The staff have been finding the carcases of deer with their heads chopped off, presumably the hunters take them as trophies, and they’re also shooting horses,” Ms O’Brien told the ABC. “It really is the last thing that people want to see is these animals lying around, as well as hearing gun shots.”

She urged visitors to report any suspicious activity.

  • Do you think campsites in national parks are generally well looked after, or do you often come across rubbish or evidence of vandalism? Comment below.
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Pieter
6 years ago

Backpackers must get/buy a permit to be backpacking. A deposit type which can be used for fines. A well get a camping etiquette brochure as to know how to behave.
There is a real need for this

pete
6 years ago

it seems some camps are well looked after others are not

deer and horses are foreign to our parks
if there is need to cull ??? surely it can be done properly

the idiot people need to be dealt with by law
surely cameras in places were this frequently happens could help maybe

Stuart
6 years ago
Reply to  pete

Privacy laws may restrict where cameras can be placed in National Parks. Remote trail cameras are also expensive and once they are discovered are easily removed. The most important tool are the eyes and ears of travellers. Taking details and reporting to Police.

Dave Windle
6 years ago

We have seen this first hand at campsites around the country and very rarely was it backpackers but locals to the area. One time we were camped for two weeks on the Murray River on the Victoria side and our time there went over the Australia day weekend. I had to go into Yarrawonga for some stores and was following a van with about 8 people in it abd as they got to the entrance gate they slowed and threw 2 big black garbage bags out of the side door of the van. I stopped and picked the bags up and followed them and they were Yarrawonga locals as I followed them to their house. I pulled up and as they were heading inside I asked if this was their house to which they said yes. I went around to the back of my 4×4 and grabbed the two bags of rubbish and threw them on their front lawn. When they started to protest I said that I was just returning what fell out of their van at the camp site. They then were obviously very embarrassed and I said next time I would report them.
But who would I report them to? The local councils never follow it up, having reported incidents to N.P.W.S Rangers they say that they can only pass the matter on to the police who do nothing either.
I think heftier fines need to be handed outbut parks & wildlife need to step up to the plate as do councils & police and if they do then maybe a reward for people who report these acts may help to stop rubbish dumping.

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