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Tonimbuk heartbreak: Winery owner says police officer tried to book him as his vines “melted”

The owner of Jinks Creek Winery in Tonimbuk has told of his heartbreak as his vines “melted” in front of him over the weekend.

Andrew Clarke told Neil Mitchell he lost his winery, cellar door, two houses and all the sheds on the property at Tonimbuk, which borders the Bunyip state park.

“Seeing my vineyard and my winery just melt in front of me, it’s taken the sting out of me, I just don’t know if I can go back,” he said.

Andrew also said he couldn’t believe the actions of a police officer, who tried to stop him as he went back to the property to save his dogs.

“A copper tried to stop me going back, he told me he was going to give me an infringement if I went past him,” he said.

“I dropped the clutch and went past, I said there’s no way I’m leaving my dogs at that place.

“He must have taken my rego because he rang me two hours later and said I’m contemplating sending you a ticket.

“I was just shocked he even had the time to look up my bloody phone number.”

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“I understand the police wanting to stop people, but to threaten to book him and go to the trouble of tracking him down, it’s just a massive waste of time and resources,” Neil said.

“This is on top of a report we had earlier about a man fleeing the fire in Dargo, booked for speeding, 8km over the limit.

“I hope that’s wrong.”

Image: AAP (Burnt out vineyard near Bunyip, yesterday March 3)