Greening Mildura’s Bill Dolence has raised serious concerns about the vehicular damage to the fragile surrounds of Lake Ranfurly. He says there is both an environmental and monetary cost. Bill is pictured holding a chain that vandals cut to gain access to the sensitive area.

GREENING Mildura’s Bill Dolence is concerned about the lack of respect some people seem to have for the area surrounding Lake Ranfurly which is supposed to be out of bounds to unauthorised vehicles.

Mr Dolence said that Mildura Rural City Council for some years now, has been trying to protect some of the very fragile environment around Lake Ranfurly with fencing, signs and bollards, to warn against vehicular traffic in certain rehabilitation and protected areas.

“Unfortunately, too often these signs are simply ignored by off-road bikers and motor vehicle drivers, who ride and drive wherever they want, and in some cases, using bolt cutters and chain-saws, they deliberately damage fences, gates, signs and bollards,” he said.

“Trees and shrubs, planted by council staff, have been run over by off-road motor bikes, and a ‘bird-hide’ in the vicinity was trashed and had to be removed by council.”

Mr Dolence said that at considerable expense to ratepayers, council has recently installed a fence around the car-park at the end of Fifteenth Street, that has significantly reduced vehicular traffic, and the amount of rubbish dumped in the area.

“Again at considerable expense to ratepayers, MRCC recently erected a fence and gate along Fourteenth Street extension, in an endeavour to keep vehicles out,” Mr Dolence said. “However, it didn’t take long for someone to cut the chain to gain entry and someone has also deliberately rammed and damaged the gate.

“It’s unbelievable, but they’ll cut the lock with bolt cutters to illegally gain entry − they aren’t supposed to be in here. Apart from showing little concern for our environment, when will people learn that we, the ratepayers, have to pay for this damage through higher Council rates.

“I trust MRCC doesn’t have to install CCTV cameras sometime in the future, to help kerb this wanton damage, which again would be at ratepayers expense.”