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



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

Drivers being urged to sign pledge on Fatality Free Friday

Drivers are being used to pledge to drive safely on Fatality Free Friday.

Fraser Coast drivers are being urged to sign the pledge.

Man accused of Tinana break and enter in custody

A man who is accused of breaking into a Tinana bakery is in custody.

A man accused of breaking into a bakery on Wednesday is behind bars.

Safety fears at Fraser Coast boat ramp

Burrum Heads boat ramp.

The council has concerns around safety issues at the boat ramp.

Local Partners

Disability worker shares her career with students at expo

For Tammy Watton, a natural instinct to help others turned into a long and fulfilling career in the disability sector.


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Things to do on the Fraser Coast this weekend

Kayla Schmidt, Charlie and Nitro at this year's Million Paws Walk. May 15th, 2016

Find out when and where things are happening this weekend.

Marking Maryborough Hospital's 130th birthday

A PIECE OF HISTORY: Nursing director Trish Spreadborough shows what it would have been like to care for patients in the early days of the Maryborough Hospital.

Learn about the rich history of the Maryborough Hospital

Gladstone's MasterChef hero blown away by support

CRANE driver Pete Morgan has been bowled over by the support he has received since making his TV debut on MasterChef.

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Is this the talent you get when you limit electronics?

Cassidy Kilburn in the Get the Beat International Dance Competition.

Cassidy, 11, preparing for national dance championships

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Approvals still needed, but key dates identified and work rolling on

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!