'No respect': vandals and thieves trash Ophir Reserve camping ground

VANDALS and thieves have targeted Ophir Reserve, breaking tables, dumping rubbish and cutting down trees to sell as firewood.

VANDALS and thieves have targeted Ophir Reserve, breaking tables, dumping rubbish and cutting down trees to sell as firewood.

VANDALS and thieves have targeted Ophir Reserve, breaking tables, dumping rubbish and cutting down trees to sell as firewood.

The vandalism and theft of an honesty box that had been bolted to a door in the toilets occurred last week, while the wood theft was an ongoing problem, according to Ophir Trust members.

Ophir Trust secretary Learne Spicer said the clean-up work was being left to volunteers, who want to see the area continue to operate as a popular camping spot for families.

“It breaks my heart to know people have no respect for the history of Ophir or respect for the people who look after Ophir,” she said.

“We are just volunteers.”

Mrs Spicer said police had been contacted about the problem, but called on the public to help by reporting suspicious activity in the area.

“The honesty box is used to collect money from campers and it helps pay for toilet paper, chemicals and maintenance,” she said.

Mrs Spicer suspects the damage occurred during a party.

“They just got drunk and out of control,” she said.

“It’s not meant to be like this, this [reserve] is for families.”

Mrs Spicer estimated it would cost the trust about $1000 to repair the damage if the work wasn’t being carried out by volunteers.

She said the illegal woodchopping had been occurring for about four weeks, and estimated around 20 tonnes of wood had been removed from the reserve.

She said the theft was already negatively impacting the area.

“Someone’s making an income out of doing this, but what they’re doing is damaging the reserve,” she said.

“He’s making his own tracks and getting bogged.” 

Mrs Spicer said anyone with information about the incidents should contact Orange police on 6363 6399 or the Ophir Trust on 0419 258 425.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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