ANGER GROWS AS VANDALS CUASE HAVOC
Lions members devastated by vandalism
THREE young children have been dealt with by police over an incident that destroyed the new toilet facilities in the Lions park on Thursday afternoon.
A Queensland Police spokeswoman said Roma police were alerted to the incident about 12.30pm Thursday, after a witness at the park saw the offenders in action.
“Because of their young age, the two juveniles under 10 years of age have been given behavioural counselling, while the other juvenile, under 11, has been formally cautioned,” the police spokeswoman said.
The vandalism, believed to be caused by some sort of incendiary device, melted down the baby changing table and partially melted the solar lighting and toilet cistern.
The old toilet block was also significantly damaged.
David Knowles, who was one of the driving forces behind the new toilet facilities, was left to clean up the mess.
“We worked so hard and for so long with all our fish and chip nights to raise money for the facilities, and to see such mindless damage is heartbreaking,” Mr Knowles said.
“I’m just lost for words why someone would do it.”
The new toilet blocks in Lions Park opened less than a month ago and cost $48,000 – made up of a $35,000 grant and four years of tireless fundraising from the dedicated Lions members.
Mr Knowles believes in instances where minors are found to have destroyed public property, they should be made responsible for paying for the damages.
“It’s just so devastating. We had gotten so much feedback with how happy the public was with these new facilities and now it’s all been ruined,” he said.
The community rallied behind Lions Fish and Chips night on Friday night, where 390 fish, 105kg of chips and 352 donuts were sold.
“It was definitely one of the biggest nights we’ve had, we sold 270 fish last Friday so it’s clear the community wanted to get behind us,” Mr Knowles said.
“It was great to see that the town were coming out and supporting us, we had people coming up to us saying that they had made sure they could come after what happened.”
Mr Knowles said he had been approached by the council who said that as the toilet facilities are a council asset, the council would do everything in its power to fix it.
“All we can do now is keep moving forward and get this mess fixed up,” he said.
“The community is angry though, we’ve had close to 300 comments on our Facebook page when we posted the photo of the vandalism. Something needs to change, I just don’t know what needs to be done to make that happen.”
HEARTBROKEN: Lions members were left to clean up after children destroyed the new toilet facilities.