As Council staff did their maintenance rounds of public amenities early on Saturday morning, they were horrified to discover that the Bellingen Swim Centre had been the target of extensive vandalism. During the early hours of Saturday morning, the pool fence was breached, the canteen was broken into, retail stock was stolen, windows were smashed and security grills were broken. Bins and their contents along with large concrete blocks were thrown into the pool, cracking tiles and the pebble crete which lines the floor of the pool.
Pool and Council staff were very upset and frustrated that so much damage was done and that the perpetrators, had absolutely no regard for public property. What compounded the frustration was that the pool had undergone significant maintenance during the off season to prepare it for the 2018-19 swim season. As a result the pool had to be closed over the long weekend while staff spent two full days cleaning it up, calling tradespeople to replace windows, tiles and fences and dealing with the Police. The area was classified as a crime scene and the Police attended to gather evidence.
After dealing with the Swim Centre, Council maintenance staff then discovered that the amenities block in Bellingen Park had also been vandalised with toilets bowls and light fittings smashed resulting in thousands of dollars of damage.
“It is enormously disappointing that the wilful and antisocial actions of a few meant our community could not enjoy its swimming facility for the long weekend, and that extensive repairs will be required to local amenities that our sporting community utilise each and every week. Money spent on repairing these facilities will mean that other programs and services will suffer”, said the Mayor, Cr Dominic King.
If you have any information that may help the police to identify those involved, please give Bellingen Police a call on 6655 1444 and quote event number E71586888.