Stay safe for fun at race

February 06, 2018

Merc Force observer Kevin Boylan and driver Don Gulley celebrate during the Southern 80.

Crowds attending this yer's Southern 80 are being asked by authorities to plan ahead and stay safe.

With thousands expected to converge on the Murray River at Echuca-Moama this weekend for the annual Southern 80 ski race, authorities are asking visitors to plan ahead and stay safe.

Very high fire danger ratings are expected and campers are being reminded to respect the conditions and the park.

Parks Victoria district manager Daniel McLaughlin said fires could easily be spread if the public was not careful.

‘‘During hot weather we encourage campers to use alternatives to campfires such as gas cookers and solar lights,’’ Mr McLaughlin said.

‘‘We know from past Southern 80 race events that a huge amount of rubbish will be created.

‘‘Dumping rubbish in our parks is not just unsightly and illegal, but also potentially dangerous for visitors and impacts on native plants and animals.

‘‘We’ll be checking people are doing the right thing when it comes to building, lighting and extinguishing their campfires.

‘‘It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they follow the campfire safety rules.’’

Parks Victoria and Victoria Police will do joint patrols of campsites along the Murray River, between Echuca and Torrumbarry.

Campaspe police Inspector Geoff Owen said it was a move to check on fire safety and curb any anti-social behaviour.

‘‘A zero tolerance approach will be taken to campfires that don’t comply with regulations and we will prosecute offenders,’’ Insp Owen said.

‘‘Anti-social behaviour is never acceptable and this weekend we’ll be visiting those areas with lots of campers to make sure everyone can enjoy a safe time at the Southern 80.’’

People are reminded it is pedestrian-only access from Wharparilla Drive and beyond Campaspe Esplanade for the weekend.

Information on park closures and changes to access can be found at Parks Victoria’s website

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