Rubbish left at a Sandy Cape campsite.
Trailbike donuts on sensitive marsupial lawns – completely unacceptable and reckless behavior.
Ordinance Point’s grand Aboriginal midden -Despite Parks and Wildlife installation of coastal fencing, many vehicles pushed access through the scrub and have been frequently riding across the dune.
ATV’s continue to choose to ride through wet areas regardless of a well-formed track adjacent.
Off track routes pushed over headlands throughout the grass and Acacia scrublands near Sandy Cape despite there being a parallel track running inland which is far easier and more direct.
PWS signs – many have been removed or their message ignored, whilst fence wires cut or pushed over.
I have just returned from another Tarkine exploration to investigate what the Hoons and Rednecks were up to over summer ... and there were no surprises.
Looking at vehicle track impacts it seems that the Tarkine coastline was a hive of activity for more reckless behaviour and there seems to be an ongoing blatant disregard for management of the area.
These ignorant activities were probably caused by a small minority of visitors, yet ultimately this in the long run, may be the catalyst for authorities to impose stricter control.
Parks and Wildlife only have 2 permanent staff based at Arthur River, and it is rumoured that through the intended Liberal policy Public Service cutbacks one of these positions is to be removed.
A lack of Ranger presence on the ground won’t deter reckless behavior. In fact more field presence is exactly what is needed, particularly during holiday peak season. All the regulations won’t alter or encourage a higher compliance to the permit system. The only real means of change, which will take many years, will come about through education and Ranger presence.
Oddly enough the only way Parks and Wildlife can see future general behavioural shifts is to encourage more off-road drivers into the region in the hope of marginalizing the riff-raff.
Currently the track is being upgraded from Temma to Greens Head encompassing all bog-holes being filled with rock and concurrently narrowing the track into a well-formed path. No longer will you need a high-clearance vehicle to enter the region, though will still require a 4WD to access the beaches and campsites southward around Sandy Cape.
This is a double-edged sword approach because whilst many old vehicle track areas will be subject to environmental rehabilitation, the increased vehicle/camping activity further down the coast will create more impacts around sensitive camping zones and beach fringing areas.
One wonders if this is a desperate management approach to the problem or Liberal-driven politics to provide more access?
• Nicole Anderson, in Comments: Ted - thank you for posting this. The reality of what occurs on this lawless frontier exposes the gross inadequacy of government approaches currently. The intimidatory nature of hoons causes what should be a protected landscape to be a dangerous one for others seeking to enjoy it. The number and severity of the accidents that occur in the Arthur Pieman every year as a result of alcohol fuelled off road vehicle use indicates a grave omission in State policing and public health. Some months ago, PWS did a burn off around the northern part of the Balfour Track/Long Pond - the number of discarded bottles and cans exposed therein the years of antiauthoritarian attitude of some of the area’s users. I know locals who try to curb behaviour - good on them, extremely brave. But this wonderful place needs proper protection - PWS need real power to police, and police presence is required. Again Ted, your contribution is very much appreciated.
• More pictures ... by Nicole Anderson ...
• Robin Charles Halton, in Comments: The only hope is for the Member for Braddon, Adam Brooks to carry out a media savvy public relations drive involving the local PWS Rangers, 4x4 clubs, shackies, interested campers, bush walkers and local Tas Abs to come up with something of a agreement to monitor the disputed track network that is resulting in the destruction of cultural artefacts along the coast line. The formation of local Coastcare group from the above supported by PWS could be a start. There is no reason why 4x4 clubs could not play a major role with assisting with remedial work in order to protect sites by maintaining the formal track network and camp sites. A presence on the ground from time to time, weekend trips away together, being seen by other users including the rebel element should encourage responsible land use practices. Getting local Tas Abs on an agreeable footing to participate in a multi tasking Coast Care group is something they need to consider as an option for them to avoid further frontier squabbles over land management of cultural landscapes. Ted Mead’s photos speak for themselves, I hope that he sent them to Brooksie who needs to get of his butt go and have a look face the situation head on.
• Richard C, in Comments: I guess the thing that is surprising - is that we might be surprised this is occurring. What a sham, what a shame. There are some wonderful people in Tasmania - but the dickhead profile is strong and ignorant and seems to both strengthen and recede in intellect as time moves on. This isn’t a big problem - it just needs commitment by the state and the local shires to resolve. Who gives a flying f*** about ancient cultural middens, world heritage pristine areas. Only the rest of the world. But don’t hold your breath in redneck wonderland.