Generator theft causes research station to be shut down

A generator worth $4000 was stolen at 6 am on Tuesday 20 April from a CSIRO atmospheric research experimental field site in Bago State Forest near Batlow.

The incident is being investigated by the police.

Mr Dale Hughes, an experimental scientist with CSIRO based in Canberra, said he was very disappointed as the theft had basically caused the research station to be shut down.

“This research site contributes to a understanding of the greenhouse effect and its relationship with forest health and productivity.

“It is one of only three such sites in Australia and the information it generates is very valuable and used by researchers worldwide,” he said.

“We are appealing to anyone who knows anything about the theft to contact the local police.

“It has been a blow to the funding of the project but we will find the resources to continue.

“As a consequence we are going to install a surveillance system at the site and also increase other aspects of security.”

Mr Hughes said the field site had been located in Bago State Forest for nearly four years and nothing of this magnitude had happened before.

States Forests Tumbarumba forest manager, Mr Chris Rhynehart, said State Forests’ staff would be keeping a watchful eye on the research station site.

“We are saddened that this theft has taken place and will be stepping up our patrols in Bago State Forest.”

Media contact: Chris Rhynehart on (02) 6948 2400.