Graffiti vandals strike new play area
A BUNDABERG playground has fallen victim to extensive vandalism less than a week after its opening.
Bundaberg woman Ann Mullen was saddened when she visited Boreham Park early on Saturday morning and was confronted by the graffitied park.
The monorail, velocitron, adventure-based play equipment, signage and toilets were all tagged with a tin of spray paint by vandals, who further littered the park.
Ms Mullen said she was angered further when she spotted a spray can strewn on the ground outside the park's toilets.
"I was angry and upset that after all the effort time and money that was put into improving the park, that within weeks it was defaced by vandals that obviously have no respect for themselves or anyone else," Ms Mullen said.
Boreham Park, in Avenell Heights, was reopened just shy of a week prior to the vandalism.
The newly refurbished park was a Wide Bay Medicare Local initiative that, upon opening, was handed over to the council for ongoing maintenance and care.
Sport, recreation and venue spokeswoman and Avenell Heights divisional councillor Lynne Forgan described the act as "heartbreaking".
"We're incredibly upset and disappointed by these actions," she said.
Cr Forgan said the playground and exercise equipment was intended to be enjoyed by the entire community.
Wide Bay Medicare Local epidemiologist Tanya Bell said it was disappointing to see that level of vandalism to the new park.
Dr Bell said she did not believe the vandalism was a reflection of the general community's reaction to the park and said the feedback as a whole had been positive.
With regard to security for the new park, Dr Bell said the onus was now on the council.
"They're the ones who have to foot the bill for cleaning," she said.
Healthy and regulatory services spokesman Wayne Honor said council maintenance crews had since removed the graffiti.
"Crews spent several hours using anti-graffiti gel and high pressure water to remove the graffiti tags from the playground equipment," he said.
"They'll also be removing graffiti from a nearby toilet block later this week," he said.
Cr Honor said the behaviour was not only anti-social but "incredibly expensive" to the ratepayer.
"The money that council spends on removing graffiti and tagging vandalism could be better spent on projects that will enhance our communities, like parks, walkways and improved roads."