Media Release – 15 February 2017
An illegal rave party held in the Wombat State Forest close to Bullangarook last week has angered the local community and left Forest Fire Management Victoria crews to not only clean up the mess, but also to extinguish the very large campfire left behind. Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Grampians Regional Manager Forest and Fire Operations, Peter Kambouris said: “Such music events are illegal and won’t be tolerated.”
“It is illegal to hold a music event or any other large gathering on public land without an appropriate permit. Forest Fire Management Victoria is calling for anyone with information about this event to call DELWP on 136 186. Anyone found to have organised such an event and/or leaving the site in poor condition can be subject to a range of on the spot fines and/or a prosecution in court. On this occasion, there were many breaches of the law that if prosecuted, could amount to confiscation of all equipment and thousands of dollars in fines. Persons or companies who are found to have conducted a recreational activity for profit on Crown land may risk being prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court and potentially face fines of $3109 for an individual and $15,546 for a company.Our attending Forest Fire Management Victoria crew found the fire pit was still alight, contained empty bottles, cans, small disco balls and even camp chairs, and far exceeded the permissible size of one-metre diameter for campfires. Leaving this particular campfire in such a state was simply reckless; poor campfire practices such as this can put nearby communities at risk. Disturbingly, our crew also collected 11 bags of garbage and were required to clean up surrounding bushland that had been used as a toilet. This is no way to treat public property. If prosecuted in court, the maximum penalty for littering is a fine of $6218, while the penalty for leaving campfires unattended can include fines of up to $15,546. We want people to enjoy themselves and the outdoors, but they must understand that using our forests and reserves at this time of year also comes with greater risk and responsibility to be bushfire safe”.
For more information about obtaining a permit to conduct an event on public land in Victoria call 136 186.