By Jackson Russell
A spate of graffiti and vandalism attacks on council property is taking money out of ratepayers’ pockets.
Public toilets at Wallan Skate Park were found tagged last week with other property throughout the shire also damaged in the past couple of months.
Mitchell Shire Council has been working alongside Victoria Police and other community groups in an effort to curb illegal tagging and senseless vandalism.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Bill Chisholm said council was disappointed some people decided to damage the community’s public amenities.
“Unfortunately, over the past few months, council has been required to inspect, clean and fix a range of items at different places across the community,” he said.
“In the 2018-19 financial year, council spent more than $69,000 on graffiti-related works which includes prevention applications and removal.
“Council has also been working with a community group in Broadford after a gazebo was damaged in August.
“Council has also been forced to play for repairs in a number of other areas across the shire recently as well dealing with dumping.
“These incidents are costing council and, ultimately, ratepayers significant amounts of money.”
Wallan police Senior Sergeant Steve Conlan said police had identified instances of graffiti and vandalism at various locations throughout the southern part of Mitchell Shire.
“Police identify that these type of instances of vandalism, which includes graffiti, can escalate during school holiday periods,” he said.
“We urge any members of the public that witness any form of criminal damages, including graffiti to be reported immediately to their local police station.
“Anyone charged with these types of offences can find themselves going through the court system.”
Mitchell Shire Council urges community members who see anything suspicious to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.