Travelling down the Western Explorer Road from the north, the first notable feature to the right viewfield is Mt Balfour with its prominent white scar that leads up steeply at over 40 degrees to the summit.
So intense is this deeply eroded track that is clearly visible from far away in the northern reaches of the Tarkine.
This track, which was officially closed by the previous government, is just one of several that the Liberals intend to reopen, or at a minimum turn a blind eye towards recreational hooning.
The installed signs by Parks and Wildlife clearly indicate that the track is prohibited to all vehicles, though it is obvious that vehicle activity is ongoing. To date no attempt has been made to rehabilitate or even stabilize the severe environmental degradation across the mountain.
Also in the same region is the Balfour 4WD Track, which traverses from the Western Explorer Road to the Tarkine coast south of Temma. This renowned track, which is immediately north from Mt Balfour is heavily impacted with extensive erosion, deep bog holes and expansive braiding across the buttongrass moorland.
The Balfour 4WD Track is a magnet for many who simply want to immerse themselves into a muddy quagmire. In my view, driving down this track defies any logic that relates to enjoyable outdoor recreation. Simply walking alongside of the track gives you an insight, and makes you ponder into the myopic and insensitive minds behind the wheel.
And of course you are never far a way from the visual sights of the ubiquitous discarded stubby or tinny.
Welcome to the last frontier – Land of the Northwestern Redneck …
• George Smiley: Mining the Tarkine Hope springs eternal within the human beast/I don’t give a damn that it makes no sense/If I grab some crumbs at least. Apologies to Alexander Pope
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• Ted Mead, in Comments: I am of the belief that what we need is a sacrificial area for them to express their hooning desires. That was also my view to the 4WD reckless activity at Southport Lagoon, but oddly enough Labor prohibited them from churning across the plains. That was a Judy Jackson initiative, which was not her electorate so it didn’t matter as far as votes and constituency flak goes. Somehow I can’t see Adam Brookes taking the same hard-line. The Greenie versus the Redneck approach is never going to see us win out in the Tarkine, as we are by far a noisy minority. Exposing ignorant vandalism pressures the government to pursue a line of constituency responsibility.