On trail of illegal bikers
AUTHORITIES will take a more co-ordinated approach to policing illegal trail-bike use in Tweed and Richmond national parks.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), police and Forests NSW are joining forces to target illegal trail bike use in the Northern Rivers.
NPWS Richmond River area manager Mark Pittavino said the aim of the Northern NSW Joint Agency Trail Bike Action Group, formed in December, was to curb the illegal use of trail bikes within national parks, nature reserves and state forests.
“There has been an increase in the unauthorised use of fire trails, walking tracks and other sections of national parks and reserves throughout the region,” Mr Pittavino said.
“A very wide network of ad hoc tracks has been created by the bikes.
"This is expensive to repair and can lead to erosion, weeds and pests spreading as well as causing other people to become lost.”
As part of the agreement, NPWS has provided the police with two registered trail bikes to enable more effective mobile joint operations.
“Forests NSW have provided assistance to purchase safety equipment, protective clothing and with training.
"The bikes will be fitted out with police markings, warning lights and communication equipment,” Mr Pittavino said.
Police Sergeant Peter Robins said most riders did the right thing.
“Unfortunately some don't and the problem is that these riders can pose a significant risk to the enjoyment and public safety of other users, such as families and bush walkers,” Sgt Robins said.
“Bikers need to be licensed and stick to riding registered bikes on the legal trails.”
Forests NSW operations manager Matt Warn said there were numerous reports from neighbours and stakeholders of illegal riders cutting fences, leaving gates open and damaging haulage and snig tracks.
“This sort of activity is expensive to rectify and it tarnishes the image of all legal trail bike activities, such as regulated events which Forests NSW support.”