Seeking info on rail trail damage

TREES have been illegally cut down and a large amount of litter deposited in the Fells Creek area, of the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail, between Cowwarr and Toongabbie.

The Office of the Conservation Regulator and the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee of Management are investigating reckless damage and littering on the trail.

This includes the illegal felling of 11 trees to create a camping area. Concealed cameras have also detected several vehicles driving along the rail trail.

This is not permitted, and creates a safety risk for trail users.

Gippsland Plains Rail Trail chairman Helen Hopper suspected the trees had been illegally cut down to create a camping area and a large amount of litter was also deposited in the area.

“It is also very irresponsible for people to drive vehicles along the rail trail,” she said.

“Not only is it illegal, this type of activity also poses a huge safety risk to walkers and bike riders who use the trail.”

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning acting regional manager of compliance operations Peter Simpson said this type of behaviour was disappointing.

“Both the Office of the Conservation Regulator and the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail Committee of Management are keen to hear from anyone who might know who is responsible for these dangerous and illegal activities,” he said.

“Disappointing actions like these have a significant impact on the local environment and pose a major safety risk to members of the public.”

People with information can phone DELWP on 136 186 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.