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Council ‘distressed’ by alleged NYE incident at Kentish campground | The Examiner


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“Very, very distressing.” That’s the only way an incident which left one child in intensive care on New Year’s Day could be described by acting Kentish Council mayor Don Thwaites. About 2am on January 1, Tasmania Police alleged a 27-year-old man drove a car through a tent which contained two adults and three children at West Kentish Road Campgrounds. READ MORE: Launceston motorsport legend Geoffrey Smedley dies aged 90 All people in the tent were taken to hospital, with a 10-year-old child later transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital. It is understood they are in a stable condition. Cr Thwaites said while the council was aware the campground had a history of some anti-social behaviour, this was “obviously the worst anti-social behaviour we’ve seen”. “In the past we’ve had complaints… sometimes related to alcohol, many times related to motor cars carting up the grounds and doing wheelies… plus fires in some places. READ MORE: Punters spend first day at historic race “This is, we’d have to say, an outrageous incident. “By-and-large, people are well-behaved and just enjoy the beautiful spot.” Since the alleged incident, concerns from campers have been raised over the regulation of the West Kentish site with feedback that more should be done to manage the behaviour of campers. Currently, the campsite has a caretaker, but there is no council supervisor or caretaker permanently on-site. READ MORE: Opening credits list new Star Theatre ownership Cr Thwaites said it wasn’t as clear-cut as employing someone, with issues around finding the resources to be able to do so and the relatively low-use of the site for a majority of the year. “Usually the campground is self-regulated. If people are having trouble with other people, if it’s a police matter, they’re expected to ring the police. “People have (previously) rejected the idea of camping fees, so there’s really no way that we could pay for it. “We’ve done surveys, we’ve looked at increasing the presence there and paying fees to use (the site) but those ideas were rejected.” Cr Thwaites said the council had a good relationship with the police and that there had been occasions, such as on previous long weekends, where they had requested patrols if trouble was anticipated. “At the same time, we acknowledge their resources are stretched and we have a small number of officers working. If something happens we can always call on police from Devonport… but as a security step, to have them patrolling the area, I don’t think that’s reasonable.” Cr Thwaites said the council was open to suggestions from the campers and the family involved, with a focus on “(ensuring) it doesn’t happen again.” “We wouldn’t like to see that anywhere. Our thoughts go out to the family.” Tasmania Police said a man was in custody following the incident, but no charges have yet been laid while the investigation continued. “Police will allege that the male crashed his vehicle through a tent which contained two adults and three children sleeping inside,” they said. “The male then narrowly missed other camping sites and people in the area prior to colliding with a tree.” Acting Sergeant Fabienne Jamieson said police had received information that the man was “exhibiting anti-social behaviour prior to the crash”. “As we continue our investigation into the incident, we seek any information from members of the public who were in the area at the time.” Anyone with information is asked to contact Acting Sergeant Fabienne Jamieson on 131 444 and to quote job number 91-01012022. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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