Rockies owners consider banning visitors
IT IS one of Warwick's most iconic and popular summer retreats but inconsiderate visitors who vandalise and trash The Rockies waterhole have owners considering banning all users.
Russell and Di Werner have lived at the Warwick property that backs onto the Condamine River for the past two years.
Mr Werner said although The Rockies had been frequented by generations of Warwick residents, it was private property.
"Access to the site is at the owner's discretion," he said.
"Over the years we've got to know some of the frequent users, who are all well-behaved and always insist on keeping the site safe and clean."
The couple said they were aware of the strong history of the waterhole and its popularity in the community. It is for this reason they have been more welcoming to visitors than previous owners had been.
But after years of mistreatment of the property and abuse of their generosity, the couple was reconsidering their decision.
"All we ask is that it's respected," he said.
"We have always insisted on safety. Bad behaviour, littering and any form of vandalism will not be tolerated.
"About two months ago we put a rubbish bin down there to try and get people to treat the area with respect.
"We did so because visitors to the site ensured us the bin would be used.
"We used to pick up several bags of rubbish a week."
Just this week, the Werners were forced to call 000 when a teenager who had been drinking alcohol at The Rockies passed out and was abandoned by his friends.
"He was lapsing in and out of unconsciousness, blind drunk," Mr Werner said.
"The kids that were with him just took off and left him there. He was choking on his own vomit and I was very concerned for his health.
"If I wasn't home, things may have been much worse."
The responding police officer said none of the teenagers were charged, as the police crews did not witness anyone drinking.
"No tickets were issued, but we did hear there had been people drinking," he said.
The entire crowd of swimmers were then forced by police to leave the property.
"There are signs and fences stopping people from entering the property," the police officer said.
"That part of the river is somebody's backyard.
"They own right to the water's edge."
It was later discovered the group of young people had been cautioned by police after it was determined they were responsible for breaking into the Palace Hotel, vandalising the empty building and stealing food and alcohol from the premises.
The Werners said they were at this point undecided whether to close off the site completely and call police in regards to any trespassing, or to give visitors one last chance at doing the right thing.