• Hannah Phillips

Rail Corridors Need Better Protections

Australian rail freight operator company Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) are railing against four-wheel drive vehicles illegally accessing their disused rail corridors.

4WD vehicles regularly access the corridors, often after major rain events, to test their cars' limits.

The vehicles cause significant damage to the corridors, disturb residents living along the area and create hazards for people walking along the corridor.

Local South Australian Member of Parliament, Tony Piccolo said he is regularly contacted by constituents living adjacent to the rail corridors about the impact these vehicles have on their lifestyles.

Mr Piccolo stated that winter tends to be peak season for 4WD drivers tearing up local roads and the rail corridor, however, with recent unseasonal weather, the 4WD season has been extended.

“I have been liaising with local government, police and GWA about steps that can be taken to stop these vehicles accessing the rail corridor,” Mr Piccolo said.

“I recently received correspondence from GWA advising that they were looking to build barriers across seven access points to the corridor."

GWA’s Paul Hollitt wrote to Mr Piccolo saying that vandals are causing considerable discomfort to local residents and are damaging native vegetation.

“GWA has for some time been trying to find a solution to the problem of four wheel drive use in the area,” Mr Hollitt said.

“Attempts to have two vandals charged for trespass have failed despite photos being made available of their vehicles showing their number plates, bogged in the rail corridor and this company making statements that permission was not given for the vehicles to be in the area.

“GWA may have however found a relatively cost effective way to build barriers across the rail corridor at seven points (each wall will be approximately forty metres long) that may stop this practice and reduce the amount of rubbish dumping in this area,” he said.

Mr Piccolo said that this is a real win for the local community and was pleased that GWA are taking positive steps to stop "antisocial behaviour".

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