Vandals have caused thousands of dollars in damage to Mount Inkerman just weeks before the reopening of the landmark Burdekin Shire attraction, in what Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin has labelled a “deplorable act”.
Council is completing construction work on Mount Inkerman ahead of its expected reopening on Friday 9 February following a $1.48 million upgrade.
However vandals have left the brand new tourist and recreational attraction in a state of disarray after tearing down a bollard and conducting burnouts on the new concourse area and lookout structures.
Cr McLaughlin said the site, which had been upgraded for the benefit of the community, had been discovered on Saturday morning strewn with tyre marks, burnt rubber, beer bottles and cans.
It is believed the vandalism occurred sometime on Friday night.
Cr McLaughlin said it appeared the vandals had accessed the site with their vehicle by tearing a bollard from its concrete base and driving on the newly completed pedestrian walkway.
“I am absolutely appalled by this deplorable act that has occurred,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“The Mount Inkerman lookout has been upgraded to make this fantastic natural attraction even more accessible to locals and tourists and its reopening in less than three weeks has been highly anticipated by the community.
“It beggars belief that someone would wilfully set out to damage something that the whole community is supposed to benefit from.
“The person or people behind this mean-spirited and senseless act of vandalism should be ashamed of their actions.
“With Australia Day just around the corner, I can’t think of a more a un-Australian way to behave.
“The police have been notified and I encourage anyone who may have any information about what occurred to come forward.
“I hope the offender is apprehended, charged and, if convicted, a suitable punishment is imposed. This is a view shared across the community.”
A toilet block in Anzac Park, Ayr was also vandalised and left in a mess sometime on Friday night, with hundreds of dollars in damage sustained.
Cr McLaughlin said vandalism cost ratepayers many thousands of dollars annually and was a scourge on the community.
She said Council planned to beef up security across the Shire with the roll out of a new network of CCTV cameras at key locations, including Mount Inkerman.
“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.
Council recently updated its Vandalism Policy and will pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest of any persons for vandalism.
The full Vandalism Policy is available at the following link: Burdekin Shire Council Vandalism Policy.