Cr Larry Friske inspects recent damage at Albert Park toilets.
Cr Larry Friske inspects recent damage at Albert Park toilets. Renee Pilcher

Residents to be more vigilant

THIS time vandals will cost ratepayers $6000 but that’s not the end of it according to Gympie Regional Council.

The latest onslaught of vandalism has hit the Albert Park sport fields’ male toilets, which are located near the main scoreboard.

Council now has to completely replace two toilets with stainless steel varieties (to help curb vandals) after they were set on fire.

It is believed they were damaged overnight on Sunday, or during the weekends sporting games – the only time the toilets aren’t locked.

The incident has been reported to police, who are investigating but Cr Larry Friske is calling on residents to dob in offenders to help stop the ongoing vandalism around the region.

Recently lights were smashed at the One Mile Sports oval, costing about $800 to replace and every weekend signs around the region are vandalised or stolen.

A report to council showed that damaged and stolen signs cost ratepayers at least $30,000 in the last financial year.

Cr Friske, councils Works and Services Committee chairman, said the money to pay for the region’s vandalism came out of ratepayers’ pockets.

“There’s got to be someone seeing it.

“We need ratepayers – it’s their money being burnt – to be a lot more vigilant and if they see anything a bit suspicious to ring police,” Cr Friske said.

“We could fix a lot of pot holes for what it costs to fix vandalism.”

Toilets have previously been damaged and spray painted at other locations in Gympie.

Cr Friske said a recent weekend, when the Australian Cricket Masters come to Gympie, resulted in a lot of work put into the Albert Park grounds and he was angry that they did this.

The loos will be out of action for a few weeks now.

And “cricketers will have to cross their legs for a few weeks.”

But when or if the culprit is caught, they are likely to get off with a slap on the wrist, Cr Friske says.

“The punishment does not fit the crime.”

Just about all toilets in the Gympie region are locked overnight in a bid to try and stop the constant damages. “The general public are flat out finding a toilet open at night due to vandalism.”

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