News

More dumped cars on Watt Rd

By Liz Mellino

A number of dumped cars are creating somewhat of an eyesore in and around Shepparton.

This year alone, Parks Victoria has been notified of more than 60 abandoned cars in the Shepparton Regional Park and Lower Goulburn National Park.

Two of these vehicles are sitting on the side of Watt Rd just after the railway tracks on the way into Mooroopna.

The silver sedan and blue hatchback look badly damaged with the windows smashed, bonnets crumpled and wheels missing.

Parks Victoria ranger team leader Neville Wells said the cars had been dumped in the surrounding parkland near the Watt Rd area.

‘‘Dumped cars in parkland is an ongoing issue for public land managers in and around Shepparton,’’ he said.

‘‘The two cars at Watt Rd will be removed soon — the illegally dumped cars have been towed from within the park by Parks Victoria staff, to an accessible location where they can be removed by car removalists.’’

While the cars have been there for more than a month, Mr Wells could not give an exact timeframe as to when they could be expected to be removed from the area.

While Parks Victoria is aware of 60 abandoned cars across Shepparton, Mr Wells said staff had already removed about 40 of these.

‘‘They are being removed on a prioritised basis — the cars are often dumped deep into the bush, some rivers and wetlands making them difficult to recover,’’ he said.

‘‘Finding the cars and towing them out is a significant amount of work, but it provides long-term impacts for the environment.’’

Last year, Parks Victoria removed more than 40 cars from the Shepparton Regional Park and Lower Goulburn National Park.

While it appears the number of vehicles removed this year will be much higher, Mr Wells said dumping cars and rubbish in parks was not just unsightly, but potentially dangerous for visitors, while also impacting on native plants and animals.

‘‘Rangers regularly patrol parks and are also urging members of the local community to keep an eye out for people illegally dumping cars and other materials,’’ he said.

‘‘There are penalties in place for people that are charged with aggravated littering, abandoning a vehicle and for lighting a fire in an area where not permitted.’’

If you see someone dumping litter, or an area where it has been dumped, you can report it to the EPA Litter Line by visiting www.epa.vic.gov.au/reportlitter, by phoning 1300372842 or phoning Parks Victoria on 131963.