News

Good Samaritan fined $7500 after towing bogged vehicles

Doug Waters from Burrum Heads with the tractor he used to tow vehicles bogged in the national park.
Doug Waters from Burrum Heads with the tractor he used to tow vehicles bogged in the national park. Alistair Brightman

A GOOD Samaritan who says he has towed more than 200 bogged cars from roads in the Burrum Coast National Park in the past 20 years has been fined $7500 for damaging the park during the rescues.

Douglas George Waters, 71, appeared in the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Monday charged with six counts of breaching a restriction on cultural and natural resources protected areas and one count of driving an unregistered tractor.

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell convicted Mr Waters on two counts of damaging the national park but dropped the five other charges.

He was fined $7500 - and he may be up for a further $15,000 payment because of a hole he dug while fixing a road.

Mr Waters has lived on a property in the heart of the Burrum Coast National Park for 25 years and, under the Queensland National Government in 1988, was given permission to maintain the isolated roads leading to his home.

The previous state Labor government cancelled that permission.

Mr Waters said outside court that the roads had since deteriorated and people could easily become stuck.

He told the Chronicle outside court he was dumbfounded by the lack of common sense.

"At the moment I can't tow anyone out," he said.

"If you are unlucky enough to be bogged and it's a Friday afternoon or out of normal hours DERM (now Environment and Heritage Protection) has no after-hours number to help which could result in your situation becoming life-threatening."

A Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing representative said Mr Waters had been convicted of contravening the Nature Conservation Act.

"Damaging a national park is a serious offence," the representative said.

"This illegal act resulted in five species of ground cover and 27 species of trees and shrubs being damaged or destroyed, including a Melaleuca cheelii (grey tea tree) which is a rare species."

Mr Waters dug a hole on national park land three years ago and used the soil to fill in the heavily damaged road.

Since then, floods had filled the hole with water, making it a good source for the Rural Fire Service, Mr Waters said.

He may be ordered to pay $15,000 to the department for digging the hole.

Mr Waters' home was the first one built in Burrum Heads and is shown on a map dated in 1888.

Topics:  burrum, hervey bay magistrate, hervey bay magistrates court, national park




Warren Truss is celebrating with LNP membership

SPECIAL MOMENT: Leader of the Nationals Warren Truss with his wife Lyn on the night in September 2013 he was re-elected as member for Wide Bay, which made him the nation's Deputy Prime Minister.

"Big projects are what excites him."

Explosion of colour at Seafront for Colourburst Challenge

SEA OF COLOUR: Colourburst Challenge participant, 7-year-old Tilly Tate was among 150 people who raised money for cancer on the Seafront Oval on Saturday.

A debut event saw Seafront oval transformed into a sea of colour.

Fraser Coast man killed in South Burnett car crash

The death was ruled as a heart attack.

A young Fraser Coast father was killed in a crash near Kingaroy.

Latest deals and offers

That's a wrap: Gympie Muster celebrates 35 years in style

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at the Muster Club on Sunday August 28 at the Gympie Muster.

Country music festival blessed with great weather and bumper crowds

Julia and Sasha top The Block's leaderboard

Julia and Sasha in their winning master en-suite in a scene from The Block.

FIRST room reveals of the season deliver mixed results.

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa