By ESTHER MACINTYRE
A NERVE-WRACKING and unwanted experience exploring bushland around Mildura has left a local resident up in arms.
Ian Browne came across carved up tracks after recent rain, the mud dried forming what he says are dangerously deep divots.
“Along the whole river it is like that, cut up, torn up,” says Ian who provided of damage to tracks at Psyche Pumps lagoon.
“They just want to rip the s*** out of the country.”
Ian is calling on Mildura Rural City Council to do something about these “idiots in 4WDs”.
“A lot of people in ordinary cars are complaining they can’t go down to the Merbein Common,” Ian said. “If you go over to NSW I believe it’s a $1000 fine per wheel, plus restoration.
“I’ve hinted we should do that here but they just say ‘we’ll put up fences’. But these people just knock ’em down, they don’t care about fences,” he said.
Mildura Rural City Council says these dirt roads are the responsibility of Parks Victoria.
Cr Mark Eckel, who is chair of the Psyche Bend Historical Reserve management committee, has been campaigning for upgrades to the Psyche Bend Road.
In 2017 Cr Eckel told the Weekly that council had been grading the road for years even though it did not have any responsibility to do the work.
“Parks Victoria need to take responsibility for what is duly theirs,” he said.
This week Cr Eckel repeated his sentiments: “Deputations were done, even advocacies from council, it’s all fallen on deaf ears.”
“The historical significance that has been gained for the Psyche Pumps by world engineering groups, that’s happened since, and still we can’t get anything done down there,” he said.
“It’s one of only four sites in Australia. In terms of engineering significance, the pumps are alongside the Gladesville Bridge, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Golden Pipeline in Western Australia.”
Kym Schramm, area chief ranger, Parks Victoria: said: “We ask everyone visiting parks, especially those in 4WDs and motorbikes, to consider other users and the environment, to stay on marked tracks and avoid using tracks when they are wet.
Once tracks become too damaged they need to be closed, which results in reduced access for everyone.”