Doug Waters from Burrum Heads next to a hole he dug to fix the road beside his property. It filled up during the floods and now rural firefighters use it to fill their trucks.
Doug Waters from Burrum Heads next to a hole he dug to fix the road beside his property. It filled up during the floods and now rural firefighters use it to fill their trucks. Alistair Brightman

Good Samaritan ordered to fill in hole but fireys need water

GOOD Samaritan Doug Waters has been ordered to pay $3300 to fill in a hole he dug in the Burrum Coast National Park - but fireys fear the move will put lives at risk.

Mr Waters created the hole when he tried to repair a rough road into the park three years ago, and it has since filled with water that is used by local fire brigades.

In July, Mr Waters faced the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court charged with six counts of breaching a restriction on cultural and natural resources protected areas and one count of driving an unregistered tractor, over his well-intentioned actions.

He was fined $7500 for damaging the park and could have had to pay up to $15,000 to fill the hole.

After a meeting with Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing Steve Dickson an agreement was made for a contractor to fill the hole in for $3300.

Burrum Heads Rural Fire Service first officer Brian Simmonds said filling in the hole would put lives and property at risk.

Mr Simmonds said that hole was the only source of water in the park and the only other option was to access resident's property to use their water.

"To gain access we have to cut fences," he said

"Legally we can do it but then we have to go back and repair it."

He said accessibility was also a problem, with local volunteer four-wheel drive units only equipped with a small water tank.

Mr Simmonds said the closest unit with the ability stop a large fire in the national park was at Childers.

"That's going to be an hour at least if you request the tanker from Childers," he said.

"You've got to watch what you're doing with the water; you can't pluck it out of the sky."

Last week a fire ripped through another section of the Burrum National Park.



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