BURNT-out cars are a blight on the Kinross State Forest which won’t be eradicated until the red tape delaying clean-up crews is removed and authorities work more closely to catch the car thieves responsible.
Like graffiti and other vandalism, the surest way to encourage more of the same is to leave the mess visible and send a message to perpetrators that no-one is prepared to take them on.
A failure to get stuck in and clean up dumped cars and any other rubbish promptly also drives away legitimate users of state forests.
If an area looks like the haunt of car thieves and vandals recreational cyclists and other forest users get the message it is not the sort of place to visit, and certainly not the place to stage organised trips or larger events.
But to get in and clean up the relevant councils and government bodies need the red tape cleaned up first.
Rather than having to wait for a stolen car claim to be processed Forests NSW or the council responsible should be able to photograph and document the incident and remove the vehicle to a holding yard at the nearest tip immediately.
To have to wait weeks or months for an insurance claim to be processed is absurd. In the meantime car thieves and vandals are more likely to revisit their handiwork and undertake more of the same.
Co-operation between local and state authorities needs to be streamlined. Councils, forest authorities and police need to co-ordinate regular sweeps of forest dumping sites and have a plan in place to retrieve vehicle bodies and store them, if they must.
The government needs to tell insurance companies it is calling the shots and put procedures in place which allow councils and forest rangers to pick up wrecks as soon as they are found.