Park ranger fear in valley

Staff numbers a concern, but department says ‘business as usual’

A KING Valley resident is calling on government authorities to ensure a Parks Victoria office in Whitfield remains open, following the retirement of one of its two full-time staff members.

Thomas Moritz of the Upper Rose River is concerned there will be no rangers or Parks Victoria officers covering the King Valley region, with news the remaining ranger will now only be stationed in Whitfield three days a week.

“There are a lot of national parks between Mansfield and Ovens and there will be no one around to look after them or control what’s going on there,” said Mr Moritz.

“It was only recently someone burnt down the toilet block at the Lake Cobbler camp grounds, and we’ve got poachers going up and down the road all the time, and what will happen if word gets out there is no one around?

“A lot of people don’t know what is going on in the isolated valleys.”

Mr Moritz said only a few weeks ago a neighbor chased spotlighters off his property who were shooting at his cattle, fences had been cut, and he recently found the head of a deer carcass.

He said while calls to the police were diverted to Wangaratta if the Whitfield station was unattended, a ranger had always been on duty seven days a week who could always be contacted, or a resident could call in to the office to report a problem immediately.


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