Bush doof ravers slammed for fire use on New Year’s Eve

Taylar AmoniniManjimup-Bridgetown Times
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South West District Police Superintendent Geoff Stewart.
Camera IconSouth West District Police Superintendent Geoff Stewart. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

South West ravers have been labelled “irresponsible, inconsiderate and dumb” when they were found hosting a New Year’s Eve bush doof, equipped with fireworks and fire equipment.

Police and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions rangers shut down multiple illegal raves which saw drunk locals and visitors alike in secluded bushland to party 2021 away.

The region’s police superintendent Geoff Stewart slammed the dangerous behaviour given the region’s history with bushfires.

“One of them we went to yesterday had people who had fire twirling equipment and fireworks, which was absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

“It’s disappointing that the people that organise these bush doofs allow these kinds of fire behaviours and the like, it’s absolutely ridiculous and just dumb behaviour.

“These are people that don’t have any consideration for the local community both for what we’ve recently gone through and what we go through every year.

“The people, both visitors and locals who participated, are just irresponsible, inconsiderate and dumb.”

A bush doof is an outdoor dance party attended by hundreds where dancing, fire twirling, alcohol and drugs are often present.

A Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokesman said rangers had been tipped off to the parties by concerned locals but would not confirm whether legal action would be taken.

Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson joined the chorus of disappointment at the ravers’ actions given the extreme fires seen in recent weeks across the South West.

“This is deeply irresponsible behaviour that puts lives and homes at risk,” he said.

“Our volunteer and career firefighters have put their own safety on the line over summer to protect the South West. Extremely hot and dry conditions mean this is a particularly high risk summer for bushfires.

“Anyone thinking of setting off fireworks or breaching fire bans needs to pull their head in and think about the damage their actions could cause.”

Despite the New Year’s Eve disappointment, South West communities were praised for their general good behaviour over the festive period.

Less than 200 speeding infringements were issued and only 19 drink-drivers were apprehended, which involved one DUI, 11 excess 0.08 charges and one vehicle impounded.

No fatal crashes occurred on South West roads, however a single vehicle crash at Baudin resulted in a woman being placed in an induced coma at Royal Perth Hospital.

Police Roadside RBT operation, Bussel Hwy.

Picture: Jon Gellweiler
Camera IconPolice conduct a roadside RBT operation on Bussell Highway. Credit: JON GELLWEILER;Jon Gellweiler/South Western Times

According to Supt Stewart, the results were a positive indication drivers were “doing the right thing” during a period of high traffic loads.

“Because we have such an increase in traffic volume over Christmas and holiday periods, road safety is a core part of what we do in the South West,” he said.

“Overall this holiday period has been pretty good and it’s across the board, gone are the days of people saying it’s all tourists doing the wrong thing.

“Road traumas don’t just pick out visitors, it can happen to anyone and I’m just thankful there’s no families at this stage that are planning a funeral.”

In addition to road trauma, South West police saw an increase in COVID-19 adherence efforts with exposure sites and quarantine breaches popping up in the region.

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