January 25, 2021
Gympie MP Tony Perrett and his wife Michele have been revealed as the property owners who located a 58-year-old man who had been missing in the Tansey area since January 6.
Robert Weber, from Narangba, was found barefoot and dishevelled, sitting near a dam on Mr Perrett’s property, ‘Tye’, on Sunday morning.
He was last seen leaving the Kilkivan Hotel on January 6 in a white Ford Falcon sedan with his dog, “Sid”. He was expected to arrive at Dululu the following day.
Mr Perrett told ABC-TV on Monday that workmen out mustering found Mr Weber’s abandoned car wedged on rocks on his property on January 17.
“It was quite extraordinary that we found the vehicle in such a remote location,” Mr Perrett said.
He believed the car had been on the property for at least a week, or maybe longer, before it was located.
Police were alerted and a large search of the area began involving SES volunteers, a rescue helicopter, the Stock Squad and other police.
The search was officially suspended on Friday after no sign of Mr Weber was found, however the Perrett family continued searching the 15,000 acre property, checking and rechecking dams and watercourses.
“We set out (again) early yesterday morning just hoping that we could find him,” Mr Perrett told the ABC.
“We were searching every possible water point thinking that the only chance he would have of survival in this country was that if he got himself next to a dam or water point somewhere.”
After about two hours, the Perretts spotted Mr Weber near a stock watering dam.
“We’d actually searched this dam previously,” Mr Perrett said.
“We’d been there nearly every day prior but we were determined to go back out and check all these water points again just in the hope of finding him.
“We just couldn’t believe it when we went through this small set of stockyards, crested this hill and went down towards this dam and there he was, frantically waving at us.”
Mrs Perrett told southburnett.com.au it was an incredible feeling when they found him, especially as they had checked this dam previously.
“He was very pleased to see us!” she said.
She said the dam was about three kilometres from where the Falcon had been found abandoned.
Mr Perrett said Mr Weber was in “surprisingly good” condition for the amount of time he had been in the bush and his underlying medical conditions. He had also endured a storm while lost which dumped 36mm of rain on the property.
The Perretts believe Mr Weber stayed with his car for the first three days before leaving his dog behind and walking off to get help.
“I suspect he has been wandering around this country, obviously in a disorientated state, for some time,” Mr Perrett said.
“He then just made the decision to sit beside this dam until help came … it’s quite a tale of survival.”
The dog still has not been found.