STATEMENT ON ROCK THROWING AT MOREE BYPASS

Monday, 19 December 2016

THE recent spate rock throwing at trucks and other vehicles along the Moree town bypass is nothing short of disgraceful.

Not only are the perpetrators recklessly endangering the lives of innocent motorists, they are also causing the Moree community to have its positive public reputation damaged.

This cannot be allowed to continue and the solution to this problem must involve the whole community.

I acknowledge the leadership of Moree Plains Shire Council in bringing together local police, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) – which owns and manage the bypass – and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) – which owns and manages the rail corridor and fencing – to discuss a joint approach to preventing these activities form continuing. A combined approach is vital to stopping the rock throwing.

To this end, the NSW Government, via the RMS, has put $95,000 on the table to assist with a solution and to support council with the installation of additional lighting long the bypass and extra CCTV cameras to monitor the problem areas.

I am aware that the ARTC is also currently considering a more permanent fencing option, to ensure the bypass boundary fence is not being cut, making it very easy for the rock throwers to continue. As the rocks are being sourced from the rail line ballast, the fencing is critical and we all eagerly await ARTC’s decision.

Local police have also stepped up their patrols, which will be aided with additional lighting and CCTV cameras.

Lastly, the community can also do its bit, by providing any information about the identity of these rock throwers to police. The perpetrators have families, friends and associates. Someone must know something and we need them to come forward. As a community, Moree cannot accept this sort of reckless, selfish and destructive behaviour.

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