Community paying a high price for vandalism

Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields has slammed a small group of vandals that cost the city tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and cleaning every year.

Councillor Shields was angered after vandalism at both Wahroonga Park and the skate park this week, leaving Council facing more repair bills.

Earlier this week five brightly-coloured sensory poles that form part of the new playground at Wahroonga Park were ripped out of the ground, while at the skate park the sail was damaged.

“One of my biggest frustrations is when Council has to spend money on repairs due to vandalism. The majority of this damage is done at our parks and recreation facilities, which are there for the community to enjoy and make use of,” Councillor Shields said.

“I was extremely disappointed to see the latest damage to two great recreation areas. This is another unnecessary expense the Council faces.”

The total cost of vandalism to Council in 2016-17 was $81,197.88, while in 2017-18 it rose slightly to $86,998.49.

“There is a lot Council would have been able to do with that $160,000 but unfortunately instead it had to be spent replacing shade sails, fixing signs and play equipment and removing graffiti,” Councillor Shields said.

“Council has just announced one million dollars for more shade for parks and playgrounds across the city and now we see how some people treat this equipment. The last thing I want to see is new structures being put up, only to have them damaged straight away.

“Most shade sails are designed to be difficult for people to scale and cause damage to, but there are a handful of idiots that are determined to ruin things for everyone.”

Councillor Shields reminded the community that Dubbo Regional Council offers a reward of up to $2500 for information leading to the conviction of any person who has committed wilful or theft of Council property.

“I am sick of the action of a few people costing the entire community. Anyone who is vandalising property is a criminal and I would encourage people to report them. I would be quite happy to hand out some of these rewards if it stops the stupidity.”

Last Edited: 08 Feb 2019

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