Mandurah Citizen of the Year arrested for trying to protect Marri tree

Mandurah's Citizen of the Year Allison Dixon. Picture: Jon Hewon.
Mandurah's Citizen of the Year Allison Dixon. Picture: Jon Hewon.

MANDURAH Citizen of the Year Allison Dixon has been arrested.

The passionate wildlife activist claims she was ordered to move on by police during a prescribed burns in Erskine on May 16.

Ms Dixon said she was helping to move a fire hose to extinguish prescribed burns in a possum inhabited Marri tree at Len Howard Conservation Park.

She was arrested and charged for failing to obey an order given by an officer and is due to appear in Mandurah Magistrates Court on June 12.

Ms Dixon, who describes herself as a fauna relocator and carer, visited the prescribed burns area, which was about 100 metres long and 10 metres wide, after she saw thick smoke.

She said the prescribed burns were occurring directly behind a wetland ecosystem.

“I drove to the park and noticed a sign that said ‘Caution Smoke Hazard’ but it didn’t say keep out,” she said.

“I visited the area and noticed one of the Marri trees, which housed possums, was up in flames so I asked one of the firemen if they could put the fire out in the tree.

“I moved a fire hose out of the way so the fire appliance could move forward to put the tree out and the police saw me do this and accused me of hindering, which I was not.”

Ms Dixon said she was ordered to move on from the park and claims she complied, but revisited the area a few hours later that same day.

“I was walking along the footpath looking into the burnt habitat for burnt fauna and was arrested by police and charged,” she said.

“These prescribed burns are happening where critically endangered species are being burnt to death – it’s really unnecessary.

“To me this is not what biodiversity and conservation is about.”

Police did not respond to requests for comment.