Pool, park vandalised
New attacks have community feeling ‘unsettled’
The Berrigan Swimming Pool and Berrigan Apex Park are the latest to be vandalised in what community members say has been a six month spate of damage and break-ins.
Berrigan Swimming Pool committee member Gary Lehre said there was an ‘‘uneasy’’ and ‘‘unsafe’’ feeling spreading across the community as the incidents continue.
He said at the pool, its outdoor furniture and a near-new barbecue have been dumped into the deep end of the main pool.
Rubbish was also thrown in, and Mr Lehre said no-one can understand the motive behind it.
‘‘What would make someone break into a public swimming pool and throw a barbecue along with furniture and rubbish into the deep end of the pool?’’ he asked.
‘‘We purchased the barbecue last swimming season for $600 and it is not salvageable as it was under water for at least four days.
‘‘We used that barbecue to raise money for the pool, so we can continue to make it free to swim.
‘‘The table, as it is solid wood, can thankfully be retained.
‘‘The committee consists of volunteers working hard to provide a free entry pool to the community of Berrigan and is repaid by some heartless residents wanting to take this away from us.’’
Mr Lehre said the pool is funded by charity events and benefactors — businesses and local residents who want the facility kept open and free — and that their generous donations would now have to be used to replace or fix damaged items.
And he said with other areas of the community also targeted in recent moments, the community is starting to feel ‘‘unsettled’’.
‘‘I have only lived in Berrigan for three years, and the whole feel has changed in the last few months,’’ Mr Lehre said.
‘‘There has been a lot of vandalism in Berrigan in the last six months, including the breakin at the cafe and at the netball courts.
‘‘And now our Apex Park playground has been partially closed due to ongoing damage.’’
Berrigan Shire Council enterprise risk manager Michelle Koopman said the vandals have gone to extreme effort to punch holes in the solid plastic play equipment at the park.
She said a number of decorative items have also been damaged, which she said are no longer made and are unable to be replaced.
‘‘We had an incident at the weekend where someone got their foot caught in one of the holes, so we think the damage was caused a few days earlier,’’ Ms Koopman said.
‘‘We’ve had to close that part of the playground until replacement equipment can be sourced,.
‘‘Council has also had a number of carpark solar lights damaged recently, but most of the damage had been to private properties.’’
Police are investigating the break-ins and vandalism.
Berrigan Swimming Pool committee members Tom Pyle and Peter Cobb assess the damage created by vandals.