A piece of public artwork has been vandalised just weeks after its official unveiling in the heart of Ayr’s library and theatre precinct, in what Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has condemned as a “disgusting and shameful act”.
The artwork, titled ‘Walking Forward’ by local artist Michael Dudley, was built from recycled materials and depicts the figures of a man and woman with a child holding a library book.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said in separate attacks on Friday 28 July and again on Monday night, vandals had damaged the artwork and torn the arms off the man and woman.
“It was a wonderful artwork created for the enjoyment of the whole community. A lot of people were involved in its development and were so proud of what had been achieved,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“Now it has been broken into pieces. I am absolutely disgusted.”
Cr McLaughlin said one hand of the male figure in the artwork was still missing so Council was appealing to the public to please come forward with any information that might help.
“This vandalism is the result of the mean-spirited actions of a small number of people who show no respect for public property. The majority of our residents are community-minded, good people and would be deeply disappointed by what has occurred,” she said.
“The matter has been forwarded to police and Council also offers a monetary reward, through Crime Stoppers.”
Cr McLaughlin said the artwork was the result of a community Think Tank staged in the Burdekin in February. “The Think Tank arose from the Burdekin Shire Council’s Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) Advisory Group and from a desire to create future art, cultural and community development projects in the Burdekin,” Cr McLaughlin said.
Cr McLaughlin said vandalism cost ratepayers many thousands of dollars annually.
“When Council is required to spend money repairing vandalised property, it means those funds aren’t available to spend on other community services and facilities,” she said.
Cr McLaughlin urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.