Vandals cut through Burdekin channel fence and put public at risk

20 May 2015

Vandals have been caught illegally cutting through safety fencing at the Elliott Main Channel in the Burdekin, putting themselves and others at risk.

SunWater’s surveillance cameras captured two men in a utility vehicle trespassing and cutting the channel fence around 10pm on 23 April. The footage has been provided to police.

SunWater North Region Service Manager Jim Mummery said it was disappointing to see people ignore warning signs to illegally enter the channel area and destroy property.

“Trespassing in channels is strictly prohibited and we won’t tolerate people putting themselves and others in danger and breaking the law,” Mr Mummery said.

“The fencing is there to keep members of the public away from the channel system because of a range of safety hazards in the area,” he said.

“Irrigation channels are not safe for public access due to submerged pipe inlets, siphons, hidden currents and steep slopes,” he said.

“We have surveillance cameras at the Elliott Main Channel and across our infrastructure network, in addition to our regular patrols, and we have reported this incident to the police.”

Queensland Police Service Inspector Glenn Doyle from Townsville said an investigation is underway regarding this incident, with police from Home Hill currently reviewing CCTV in order to identify the alleged offenders.

“Police are also concerned regarding the safety of members of the public who attempt to enter restricted areas such as these.

“Anyone with information is encouraged to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.”

Mr Mummery said the incident followed repeated warnings from SunWater about the dangers of taking risks around water storages and local waterways. 

“We have recently seen people driving recklessly along the top of the Clare A Main Channel bank, which is dangerous and illegal,” he said.

“We’re asking people to use common sense, read the signs and stay safe.”

The Elliott Channel System forms part of the Burdekin Haughton Water Supply Scheme.


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