BUSTED: Police crackdown at popular hiking spot
AN unauthorised trail illegally constructed for trial bikers at White Rock Spring Mountain Conservation Estate has been shut down following a crime blitz in the area.
Operation Wildflower, a joint task between Ipswich City Council and Queensland Police, was formed last month in response to growing concerns the nature reserve had sustained significant damage due to illegal activities.
Compliance officers and environmental officers joined officers from the Mounted Police and Springfield Police Station for the operation.
In addition to the illegal pathway, several instances of anti-social behaviour were also reported.
Two dirt bike riders were reportedly detained by officers for allegedly failing to meet compliance standards.
They are awaiting the examination of evidence which was seized by officers which will determine whether the pair are to be fined.
Meanwhile, a "well-established" illegal fire pit was also uncovered, which will soon be destroyed under the guidance of council's Natural Areas team.
The drivers of three vehicles were issued with official warnings after police found them to be parked illegally in the area.
Offensive graffiti was also identified at Peter Tullett Memorial Park.
Mayor Teresa Harding said Operation Wildflower was a "great success", with more than 50 interactions with members of the public reported.
"We have heard the community's concern about illegal trail bike riding in White Rock - Spring Mountain Conservation Estate and we're committed to working with the QPS on enforcement," she said.
She said joined efforts by authorities would be continued to discourage similar behaviours.
"Ipswich is home to some of the most amazing natural areas in southeast Queensland."
"Keeping these areas beautiful and accessible means preserving vital wildlife and ensuring that residents and visitors can enjoy these spaces safely."
She said residents would still be able to enjoy trial biking at several established trail bike paths across South East Queensland.
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District Officer Superintendent David Cuskelly said Queensland Police Service was pleased to work closely with council.
"This was a wonderful opportunity to work collaboratively with council and community to address an identified problem," he said.
"It's important we build a collective community culture of prevention and harm minimisation."
Unauthorised vehicles in the area can be reported via My Ipswich or council's call centre on 3810 6666.
Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.