The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is investing over $100,000 to put up new high-tech security lighting along the rail corridor in Moree in response to reported high levels of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in area.
Scott Chapman, an ARTC manager in the Hunter Valley region, said that anti-social behaviour, vandalism and trespassing incidents had been prevalent since the opening of the Moree Bypass over two years ago.
“Unfortunately, security fencing in this location has proved no match for regular vandalism. Along with damage to rail property and the rock throwing at passing vehicles from the noise mounds next to the bypass – our hope is this new lighting will act as an important deterrent,” Chapman said.
Fencing is reportedly frequently vandalised even after having just been repaired, and now vandals are allegedly placing broken glass, discarded syringes and other sharp objects along the fence line to hamper repair work.
To combat this, ARTC has begun this week to install 22 eight-metre-high solar powered lights to heighten security on the rail corridor.
“They’ve got a sheet of three-millimetre-thick polycarbonate over it and those sheets have mesh on it,” Chapman was quoted as saying by the local Moree Champion.
“Ultimately we hope it’s a preventative measure – if people enter the area and trespass the lights come on.”
Moree Plains Shire Council’s director of planning and community development Angus Witherby welcomed the ARTC’s attempt to alleviate the problem.
“The ARTC’s contribution towards enhanced security lighting improves safety for train drivers and also provides much better surveillance of the area,” Witherby said.
Chapman hoped the new lighting would discourage anti-social behaviour, but he nonetheless urged the community to report illegal or worrying behaviour when possible.
“These types of issues require a whole-of-community response and we remain committed to working with the community to find some resolution. We also strongly commend the leadership role Council has been taking on this matter,” he said.