Magnetic Island North Queensland
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December 16th 2009
Fifth fire has operator "gobsmacked"

Smouldering piles at 6pm Tueday What clearly appears to be industrial sabotage occurred again for the fifth time since April against the same business when the Green Waste Dump at Picnic Bay went up in flames again on Monday night and was, according to the contractor, relit last night.

The fires have been reported on by Magnetic Times on each occasion and last night and Monday's fires repeated a similar pattern whereby large quantities of green waste which were ready to be mulched the following day were set on fire the night before.

“Whoever it is must be close to see this happening,” said operator, Magnetic Island Skip Service owner, Mr Pat Bolger

This time there is evidence that the arsonist/s had tried to force open the office door but didn't succeed.

Pat Bolger told Magnetic Times, “I'm just gobsmacked that there is someone on the Island that is doing this but they are not going to beat me.”

The fires caused the loss of what Pat Bolger estimated as between $8,000 and $10,000 worth of potential saleable mulch to be lost – including the free mulch Townsville City Council makes available to residents.

When asked what efforts the police had taken in relation to the fires Senior Sergeant Kerry Kraut told Magnetic Times that to his knowledge there had not been any formal complaint from Mr Bolger.

Pat Bolger said that he called at the Police Station this morning to report the incident and that Sergeant Kraut was unavailable. He will however be meeting with Magnetic Island Police tomorrow over the matter.

Pat Bolger told Magnetic Times that he was unaware that it was up to him to make a formal complaint and that in the past police had attended the fires.

The Monday night fire burned much of the green waste but yesterday Pat Bolger and his offsider Graham Bennets mulched nearly 100 cubic metres of the remaining waste only to return this morning and see it all burnt plus some very large logs as well after, they believe, the arsonist returned last night. The fire had actually spread across the open ground towards the Magnetic Island tip.

Some locals have claimed that they think the fires may be a retaliation for the noise produced by the mulching operation but Pat Bolger claims his equipment is quieter than the previous contractor and that the previous contractors would mulch for three week periods unlike his own operations.

“I'm a battler and all I can say is that they won't win. I won't let them!” said Pat Bolger.

Story & photos: George Hirst

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Fifth fire has operator
Barbara Gibbs
December 16th 2009
Good on you for fighting Pat. How pathetic and peurile these offenders are! If the noise bothers them so much, get ear plugs...that's what everyone tells me when neighbours are deliberately noisy.(:
It may well be necessary to pay a few bucks and have a camera or two set up around the property to record movement. Another deterrant may be to have automatic sensor lights to scare the bejesus out of them when they enter the property. When they are caught, they need a good jail term to pay back the future generations for the extra carbons released as a result of their foolish actions, and for the arson undertaken, let alone break and entry. They don't deserve to live on a National Park, that is for sure.
Kelly G.
December 17th 2009
Perhaps guard dogs would be worthwhile, or else a sensor alarm system, that would surely stop them. The things people do, its quite pathetic, isn't it? Hang in there Pat, keep on battling!

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