A Yarrabilba man has been issued a total of $932 in fines for three alleged vehicle-related offences on Wickham Timber Reserve in Logan Village.
A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) officer approached the man on Friday 2 April 2021 after he was observed riding through the reserve on a motorcycle.
The man was fined $400 for alleged unauthorised traversing of a timber reserve by vehicle, $266 for allegedly riding a motorcycle on a timber reserve without a driver licence, and $266 for allegedly riding a motorcycle on a timber reserve while not wearing an approved motorcycle helmet.
The motorcycle was initially seized and a formal warning issued for riding an unregistered motorcycle on a timber reserve.
QPWS rangers have zero tolerance for this type of illegal and unsafe activity on these reserves and are empowered to seize vehicles they suspect are being used to traverse a state forest or timber reserve without authority.
QPWS State Compliance Manager Michael Devery said this type of behaviour has prompted the department to remind the public they will be fined if caught doing the wrong thing.
“Our rangers are undertaking dedicated and targeted patrols of these reserves and surrounding parks to ensure people are adhering to the rules and regulations,” Mr Devery said.
“In the last 18 months we’ve issued $17,932 worth of fines in respect to people doing the wrong thing on Wickham Timber Reserve, Wickham National Park, Plunkett Conservation Park and Buccan Conservation Park, which together form an area of important protected bushland near Yarrabilba in the Logan City area.”
Some of the fines include:
- failure of the operator of the vehicle to comply with a sign restricting vehicle access to the park
- unauthorised traversing of a timber reserve by vehicle
- riding a motorcycle on a timber reserve without a driver licence
- riding a motorcycle on a timber reserve while not wearing an approved motorcycle helmet.
Mr Devery said QPWS had increased patrols, including across weekends and outside of business hours, along with installing remote surveillance equipment throughout the parks to make sure these offenders were caught.
“Further patrols are scheduled over the coming weeks as more people enjoy the outdoors during the school holidays,” he said.
“Someone even recently went to the effort of vandalising our gates and fences (see picture) along Pine Break, within the Wickham Timber Reserve, to gain access.
“We believe the alleged offender used a vehicle with a winch rope to damage the gate.
“Our rangers are working in conjunction with the Queensland Police Service to identify the offender/s, however, if anyone saw or heard anything suspicious in the area, then we encourage them to call CRIME STOPPERS on 1800 333 000 to report the matter.
“QPWS may also prosecute repeated or serious offences in court where penalties of up to $16,014 may be imposed for an offence such as tampering with structures (including gates) in a park.
“We’re also continuing investigations on a number of other offences, some relating to environmental damage.
“Thankfully, the majority of visitors to our parks, forests and recreation areas do the right thing and we thank them for sticking to the rules and regulations.
“We also encourage people to record and report any illegal activity they may encounter.”