Break-in kept quiet
Council silence stuns volunteer groups
MEMBERS of two of New Norfolk’s hardworking voluntary groups are dumbfounded that the Derwent Valley Council did not advise them of a recent break-in at their shared headquarters.
Extensive damage was discovered in one of the buildings at the Carinya Education Park in Blair St last week when Derwent Valley Tidy Towns members went to collect equipment for one of the group’s regular community clean-ups.
When they reported the finding to the Derwent Valley Council — which leases the building from the Crown — they found the council had known about the incident for a fortnight.
A Tidy Towns spokesman said the council did not regard the damage as significant but extensive damage was done to walls and doors as well as to the contents of the rooms.
The building is also used by the Friends of Frascati to store equipment for its working bees at the historic house and garden the group cares for at Willow Court. The Carinya building is also used by a number of other community groups for meetings and storage.
Every door was kicked in and graffiti was painted on many walls and doors.
The Tidy Towns spokesman said that far from being insignificant, the incident at Carinya amounted to breaking and entering, burglary, vandalism and destruction of property.
“A window was broken to gain entry and once inside, every locked door was kicked in,” he said.
Rooms were ransacked, property was thrown around and special paint intended for use in graffiti clean-ups was instead used to deface the walls and doors.
Members of the two groups were disheartened by the council’s response because they are official council volunteers and members of council committees appointed under the Local Government Act.
But Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans said the Valley’s clean-up group was extremely valued.
“For me, I would like to see Tidy Towns’ damaged property replaced, and I would welcome with open arms a grant application to fix the damage,” he said.
“Tidy Towns is very valuable for our community. They are like a workforce and really beautify the town.
“These volunteers are a fabric of the community.”