Arson attacks anger
Locals ‘fed up’ with firebugs
NEW Norfolk community members say they are fed up with the increased number of arson attacks at the Willow Court precinct.
The comments come in the wake of a devastating fire which destroyed the historic Glenora House less than a fortnight ago.
It was the fourth reported arson attack at the precinct within two weeks preceding the Glenora House collapse and the second deliberately lit fire at the property within 24 hours.
The recent arson attacks, which ultimately left the Glenora House in a pile of rubble, follows a number of vandalism incidents at the site in recent years, and a number of community members have had enough.
Lexia Brown, co-ordinator at the Derwent Valley Community House within the Willow Court precinct, said continued arson attacks to the abandoned Willow Court buildings was devastating.
“It’s unfortunate that people think it’s OK to light fires and destroy things that don’t belong to them,” she said.
Ms Brown’s co-worker Diane Booth agreed.
“We’ve lost a number of buildings in the vicinity over the years since we’ve been here — it’s a tragedy,” Ms Booth said.
The pair said they thought the abandoned buildings made the area an easy target for vandals and believed restoration of the structures would minimise future attacks.
“If the buildings were used for a purpose then I think it would stop all the attacks happening,” Ms Brown said.
A Derwent Valley Council agenda released ahead of tomorrow night’s council meeting revealed proposals for a new distillery at Willow Court as well as an expanded Agrarian Kitchen site.
New Norfolk police sergeant Chris Hey said populated areas minimised the likelihood of arson attacks.
“From a policing perspective, occupied buildings are a deterrent,” he said.
“I think the development proposals that have come forward are a positive, not just for crime prevention but for community growth.”
“TRAGEDY”: Lexia Brown, left, and Dianne Booth at the Derwent Valley Community House.