Vandalism at Bell park

Mayor of Liverpool Plains Shire Council, Councillor Ian Lobsey OAM, has welcomed positive public feedback on the redeveloped Bell Park playground in Quirindi while at the same time expressing great disappointment that the area has already been the victim of vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Donna Lawson, the local mother who put together the proposal for the funding for the Bell Park upgrade, has also expressed frustration at the way the park has been disrespected. The safety gate which was installed to ensure that parents can feel comfortable when their children are attending the park has been broken three times already, much to Council and Mrs Lawson’s dismay.
“It is extremely disappointing that these facilities were targeted again this weekend after Council had just repaired previous damage. These vandals are not only spoiling a valuable asset, they are causing inconvenience and extra cost to responsible citizens. These are acts of mindless stupidity and Council will now consider the use of CCTV to identify those causing such wanton acts of criminal behaviour.
“Parents have told me how much enjoyment their kids are getting from the new equipment. The new facility is creating a lot of interest and a lot of kids are getting great pleasure using it,” Councillor Lobsey said.
“It is a huge disappointment to me, fellow Councillors and the vast majority of responsible citizens that the new facility has already been the target of vandalism on multiple occasions. Additionally, a small number of people have driven their vehicles into the park and in a couple of instances performed burnouts. This is of grave concern because of the safety risks it introduces to an environment designed for maximum child safety,” he said.
Councillor Lobsey said that as a result of the misuse of vehicles and other acts of vandalism in the precinct LPSC was erecting signs to indicate it was an illegal activity and that Council rangers would increase their patrols to monitor the situation. Mrs Lawson urges parents to educate their children about the safety issues that arise from entering the barricaded site and tearing down the signs where the newly constructed climbing frame stands. “It will be another two weeks until there is enough soft fall underneath and then it can be enjoyed safely by all. 80% of the park is complete so there is plenty for everyone to enjoy while they are patiently awaiting the full completion,” Mrs Lawson has commented. Mrs Lawson praises the majority of the community who is enjoying the park safely and encourages more families to come and experience the park if they have not already. As well as the safety of the park, there has been some concern about littering of the grounds, especially after parties are being held there. There are ample rubbish bins for all refuse to be placed into and this will make sure the park stays beautiful and clean for all to enjoy.
“As for the mindless acts of vandalism, I encourage residents in the area and parents whose children utilise the facility to report any suspicious activity to Police and Council. We will take whatever steps necessary, including the use of CCTV to bring offenders to justice.
“The redeveloped Bell Park is a wonderful public asset. The community are grateful to the Shenhua Watermark Community Fund for providing $214,560 towards making it a reality and the team of hardworking volunteers who helped install all the new equipment. Now, it is up to the whole community to play a role in helping to protect it,” Councillor Lobsey concluded.

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