Police label burnouts near bushland during high fire risk periods ‘disgraceful’

Dominic Giannini 13 January 2020 104
Mount Mac entrance

Burnouts near the Mount Mac entrance can see meet-ups of over 50 cars every Friday night. Photos: Dominic Giannini.

Locals and police officers have called burnouts in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Lower Cotter Catchment absolutely disgraceful during a period of such high fire risk.

At the Uriarra community meeting on Sunday (12 January), residents voiced concerns over weekly meet-ups that can see in excess of 50 cars, including trailers with extra sets of tyres, doing burnouts every Friday night near the Mount Mac entrance.

Drift marks around the tight corners on the way up to Uriarra are also a common sight.

Burnout marks

Bushfire smoke is replaced by burning rubber on Friday nights as locals are concerned that burnout meets can start a fire with the park being so dry.

After losing the small forestry settlement in the 2003 fires, residents are worried about how fast a fire could spread in the surrounding bushlands if sparks or smoulder from burnouts started a blaze.

Acting Police Officer in charge of Tuggeranong Police Station Chris Ball said this behaviour will not be tolerated.

“I saw the burnout marks as we were driving up here today, and my personal view is that is disgraceful,” he told the residents at the community meeting.

“It should not be happening, especially at this time of year, it is so dry, with fires around the country.

“It is something we are aware of, and something that we are working very, very hard on.”

Skid marks on a bridge

Burnout skid marks across a single lane bridge near Uriarra.

ACT Parks and Conservation Service manager Brett McNamara said any suspicious behaviour should be called in immediately.

“Obviously the Pearsons Creek fire was started by a car there,” he said at the community meeting.

“So we have had this area officially closed for a number of weeks now. Before Christmas, we took the decision to close the park and the surrounding areas west of the Murrumbidgee.

“The message is out there to keep people out of the landscape in case there is a fire.

“It is very much high on the radar. I called in a car last night and within an hour police had dealt with it.”

Remains of tyres

Rubber and tyre scraps litter the Mount Mac entrance, with clumps of rubber spread across the road.

Officer Ball says drivers will be held responsible.

“We can do things like seize the cars and hold the drivers accountable,” he said.

“Cameras are in the discussion and we have a number of different approaches being used, but obviously I will not go into all those.”

Anyone that witnesses a suspicious incident is urged not to take matters into their own hands but to contact police immediately.

Mount Mac entrance

Burnout marks outside the Mount Mac entrance.


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104 Responses to Police label burnouts near bushland during high fire risk periods ‘disgraceful’
mark boast mark boast 11:10 am 17 Jan 20

This has been going on for some time and I agree that consideration be given to providing a location(s) away from public roads for the burnout enthusiasts. I hope it doesn’t take serious injuries or deaths to change things.

Anthony Stokes Anthony Stokes 7:23 pm 14 Jan 20

The police have more important thing to do than worry about a couple of hoon out wearing out there tyres. What are they hurting. Give them somewhere to go to do it legally or leave them alone.

Shaun Michael Smith Shaun Michael Smith 7:18 pm 14 Jan 20

Surely if what happened at eaglehawk was Summernats related then this must be too. Better ban Summernats!

Alex Elliott Alex Elliott 5:23 pm 14 Jan 20

If it's such a regular thing wouldn't take much to have some police hiding or secret cameras installed. No brainer.

Margaret Welsh Margaret Welsh 2:49 pm 14 Jan 20

They have been doing it for years. The tyre marks attest to that.

Jackson Tully Jackson Tully 1:28 pm 14 Jan 20

It’s all Beau James fault 🤭

Nathan Horton Nathan Horton 10:58 am 14 Jan 20

Maybe it's time to take all the cars of everyone. Ducking nanny state.

Dan Sloss Dan Sloss 10:18 am 14 Jan 20

ACT Government - perhaps give people a safe place to do burnouts...

Fiona Michelle Fiona Michelle 6:58 am 14 Jan 20

They’ve gotta practice for next year’s Summernats, right? 🤷‍♀️

There will always be this kind of behaviour so if Police step in, the bogans will just find another place to go.

    Ian McGregor Ian McGregor 6:12 pm 14 Jan 20

    Fiona why are they bogans? That’s like you being called a bit upity yeah?

    Fiona Michelle Fiona Michelle 6:21 pm 14 Jan 20

    Ian McGregor I’m a bogan myself so it’s ok for me to refer to them as that 💁‍♀️

Paul South Paul South 11:01 pm 13 Jan 20

Time for a legal place that these dudes can waste their money at an appropriate venue .

Andrew Maxwell Andrew Maxwell 10:11 pm 13 Jan 20

Orrrr give them a skid pan so they have somewhere to go 🤷‍♂️

Peter Norris Peter Norris 10:05 pm 13 Jan 20

Maybe police could patrol our roads more often as that’s what they are paid for

Emily Lander-Clarke Emily Lander-Clarke 9:19 pm 13 Jan 20

Disgraceful is not enough, ban it.

Lucas Hayden Lucas Hayden 9:03 pm 13 Jan 20

Im pretty sure this is all the fault of cyclists who agree with climate change

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 8:59 pm 13 Jan 20

For all the “lock gates & entry” comments, it’s happening at the intersection into the park. The gates and entrance are 100m down Tiddy Road

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 8:56 pm 13 Jan 20

International tourists must be REALLLLL impressed

Ian McTaggart Ian McTaggart 8:50 pm 13 Jan 20

What hope do we have if police cannot work out a plan to deal with an activity in a location that is accessed by a road to the North and a road to the South. How hard can it be. Obviously they are not really as concerned as they are saying.

Ursula Gamal Ursula Gamal 8:44 pm 13 Jan 20

So many times we have reported burnouts and the police did nothing. We are now deaf and sometimes I say to myself "hope they hit a tree"! Monthly there's a caravan of speeding cars at around 11pm to gather and do their thing🤬And the police are aware!🥺

    Sally Greenaway Sally Greenaway 1:46 am 14 Jan 20

    There's also a camera at the turnoff from down in Tuggeranong with a police logo next to it, surely they are able to capture number plates?

Mick Vanderplaat Mick Vanderplaat 8:24 pm 13 Jan 20

Well, the gov won't provide legal options for motor sport or drag racing? And they expect these enthusiasts (weather you agree or not) to do something else. Wake up. The community is a mash of all people.

    Kristen Saep Kristen Saep 9:07 pm 13 Jan 20

    Mick Vanderplaat How about petitioning your state or territory government instead of putting the rest of the community in danger then? Or is that too much responsibility for motorsports enthusiasts....

    Ian McGregor Ian McGregor 6:16 pm 14 Jan 20

    kristen..... you are obviously not aware that the politicians in power right now ie Mick Gentleman went to the election on the promise of a drag strip. He lobbied for our vote on this promise... we voted for him.... we got lied too.

    Leo Georgis Leo Georgis 7:08 pm 14 Jan 20

    Ian McGregor thats correct Ian we where promised way back in 2004 and 2008 by the same person Mick Gentleman about a dragway, 8 million was allocated for the dragway wonder where those funds are🤔

    Maxwell Brooks Maxwell Brooks 11:45 pm 15 Jan 20

    Kristen Saep motor sport is basically ignored by politicians and local government because the seat warmers consider a motor vehicle is used to get from point A - B

Penny Veale Penny Veale 8:10 pm 13 Jan 20

They call it rush hour . Disgraceful

    Steve Sutton Steve Sutton 1:04 pm 14 Jan 20

    No it's not Rush hour cause that shut down ages ago

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