A planned illegal ‘doof party’ in Richmond Range State Forest, near Kyogle, has been shut down before it got started, after Forestry Corporation of NSW staff noticed equipment being set up in the forest and alerted local police.
Forestry Corporation’s Protection Planner Dan Allen said the party was being set up in the same location where an illegal party was shut down by local police during a period of extreme wildfire danger in February.
‘We know an illegal party was held in the forest earlier this year and our field workers have been keeping an eye on the area, so were able to alert local police when we noticed activity at the site,’ Mr Allen said.
‘Police took action against several organisers and we’re now in the process of removing cars that were dumped at the site by would-be party goers and blocking off the road leading into the area to prevent any further attempted illegal parties.
‘Unauthorised parties are not just a bit of fun, they are incredibly dangerous and damaging. The people who organise these events pocket considerable profits with no regard for neighbours, other forest users, and most concerningly, the forest environment, and the local community is quite rightly very upset by them.
‘They can also be dangerous for party goers, with organisers having no evacuation plan in the event of a wildfire or other emergency, often no toilet facilities, traffic management or parking plan or security presence.
‘Noise and disturbance over several nights can also distress and disorient local nocturnal wildlife, that need the area to feed, and in this case, about a hectare of native forest vegetation had been damaged to construct a dance area and stage.
‘We have businesses and community groups running everything from car rallies to high ropes courses in forests throughout NSW and we’re happy to work with groups to develop safe events in the forest that take into account neighbours and the forest environment, but we can’t have people making their own rules and running unauthorised events.
‘We do keep a close eye on State forests and if we catch you doing the wrong thing, you will be penalised.’