Trailbikers damaging Otway parks
Tuesday 14 July, 2020
86 infringement notices for illegal trailbike riding
More than 80 people have received infringement notices for illegal trailbike riding in the Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park during recent months.
The notices, which included individual fines of up to $860 and totalled more $17,000, were issued during two weekend operations carried out by Parks Victoria, Victoria Police, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Conservation Regulator.
Trailbike riding is legally allowed within many state forests and parks however riders must remain on designated vehicle tracks. Off-road riding damages the environment and can place other members of the public at risk.
During May and June, 260 riders were spoken to around the towns of Anglesea, Lorne, Forrest and Wye River, with 62 receiving infringement notices in May and 24 on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
The operations are the latest in an ongoing effort to protect an area that is significant for its unique plants and wildlife.
The Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park are home to a diversity of native animals, including species that are extinct elsewhere such as the Long-nosed Potoroo, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Dusky and Swamp Antechinus and Spot-tailed Quoll. The Anglesea Heath section of the national park contains one quarter of Victoria’s plant species.
In addition to off-road riding infringements, a number of notices were issued for illegal camping, illegal removal of firewood from a national park and failure to comply with directions from an Authorised Officer.
Visitors to parks and reserves are reminded that physical distancing requirements remain in place, and that people must practise good hygiene, keep a distance from others and stay home if unwell.
Quotes attributable to Scott Nicholson, Ranger Team Leader–Parks Victoria:
“The Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park protect a special landscape, and off-road trailbike riding damages that landscape.”
“With thousands of kilometres of designated tracks available for legal trailbike riding there’s no excuse for going off-road and damaging the environment.”
Quotes attributable to Roger Pitt, Trail Bike Project Manager, Conservation Regulator:
“Trailbike riding is a great way for licensed riders with registered trailbikes to explore Victoria’s forests and parks – but it’s essential to stay on the formed roads and vehicle tracks to protect the environment we all enjoy.”