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Recent Desecration of Hartley’s Hyde Park Reserve


This article, by journalist Troy Walsh,  published in The Lithgow Mercury on Saturday 9th February, 2013, says it all:


A GRAFFITI attack on one of the most beautiful and sacred spots in the Lithgow area has angered the residents surrounding the site and local Aboriginal people.

The vandalism discovered at the beginning of the week at Hyde Park Reserve in Hartley continues the site’s problems with visitors who would rather wreck it than appreciate it.

Disgusting is how a director of the Mingaan Aboriginal Corporation Helen Riley described the spray paint on rocks, a tree and interpretive signs at the important women’s site.

“We don’t like any areas being destroyed whether it is an Aboriginal site or just the bush.”

President of The Hartley District Progress Association Seamus Casey, who brought the graffiti to the attention of the Lithgow Mercury, said the site has a history of abuse from visitors.

He said the Lithgow City Council has tried to address the issues of access by doing a lot of work at the site including forming a road with a turning circle contained by large rocks around the edges so vehicles couldn’t go past down to the river.

Previously vehicles caused major erosion issues getting down to the River Lett but now visitors have to park and walk five minutes.

Mr Casey said council has also addressed the erosion caused by 4WDs going down to the river.

The problem is that people have come down and removed the rocks so they can get access about four or five times, Mr Casey said.

On a rock next to the most frequently moved rock is the spray-painted message “Move rock plz”.

This message is not the most offensive piece of graffiti.

That is on a rock right next to the river and is an attempt to ruin the site as a place of natural beauty and cultural significance.

The removal of this ugly tag will only cause another major visual scar.

Mr Casey, who is a member of the local Rural Fire Service brigade, said the last four major fires in the area have all been started by a vehicle illegally accessing the site.

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