A COLAC district horse rider fears people are using the “beautiful” Otways as a tip after she discovered a dead pony dumped at Barongarook.
Lorraine Black said she and a friend regularly rode their horses along tracks in Barongarook bush and had found animal carcasses, furniture and household rubbish.
“I am disgusted at the amount of rubbish dumped in this area,” Mrs Black said.
“But nothing prepared me for the sight of a dead pony dumped on the side of a track this week.
“It was probably a child’s pet; I just can’t believe what people will dump,” she said.
“It would have taken considerable effort to transport the body, far more than phoning the knackery.”
Mrs Black said people needed to respect the bush and dispose of rubbish and carcasses appropriately.
She said she had seen sheep, calf and dog carcasses, a freezer, lounge chairs, household rubbish and garden waste around the Barongarook bush.
“And a lot of the garden waste grows noxious weeds,” Mrs Black said.
“It’s terrible people won’t pay tip fees; they’re wrecking the bush and it’s just such a beautiful place.”
Mrs Black said people who walked on the tracks also left rubbish like cans, cigarette butts and food wrappers.
“The Otways are there for all to enjoy; it is not a rubbish disposal area.”
Department of Sustainability and Environment Otway district land and fire manager Andrew Morrow said people who dumped rubbish could face a $5000 fine or jail.
Mr Morrow said the DSE patrolled the Otway Forest Park and co-ordinated joint patrols with Parks Victoria and the police in state and national parks.
“DSE will follow up with people who are responsible for dumping rubbish or any other forest related offences,” he said.
“DSE is keen to receive information relating to the incident reported at Barongarook and anyone with information is encouraged to ring DSE on 136 186.”