Park vandals strike again


Soccer matches at a popular reserve in Hume have had to be cancelled after vandals badly damaged the playing arena, Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, said today.

Cr Atmaca said at least one person had used a vehicle to significantly churn up pitch one at Barrymore Road Recreation Reserve in Greenvale, just months after Council officers had sown additional grass seed.

“I am particularly concerned by this latest attack on Council’s reserves because it has forced Greenvale United Soccer Club to abandon matches,” Cr Atmaca said.

“This brazen attack saw vandals break a padlock from a gate and drive around the pitch like hooligans, and all for no purpose whatsoever.

“The tyre marks are deep and they will take some time to repair because of the recent weather.”

Council estimates that the damage occurred on the evening of Saturday 16 May or the early morning of Sunday 17 May 2015.

A full day of matches was scheduled for the reserve on Sunday 17 May, however when referees inspected the pitch in the morning they had to immediately cancel all games.

Council officers soon attended but were unable to repair the surface immediately because the use of heavy equipment would cause additional damage, due to the wet surface.

Cr Atmaca said the perpetrators had struck at a terrible time.

“Our Council officers want to fix the pitch straight away but they have been forced to wait, and this is very frustrating,” he said.

“Hume’s parks and gardens staff members are rightly proud of the work they do to prepare surfaces for the community to enjoy, and this damage makes them incredibly disappointed.

“We are in the middle of the winter sports season and youngsters want to play football and soccer, so the setback hurts some of our most eager and passionate residents.”

Vandals also struck a Hume reserve last weekend, and used vehicles to rip turf from the east oval at Lakeside Reserve, Lakeside Drive, Roxburgh Park, home to the Roxburgh Park Football Club.

These recent attacks come after two parks were damaged on the ANZAC Day weekend, when vandals left deep tyre marks at the Carrick Drive Reserve in Gladstone Park, and on parkland along Yuroke Creek, off Kirkham Drive in Greenvale.

At around the same time, offenders drove over a number of young trees alongside Hamilton Street and Sydney Road in Craigieburn.

Cr Atmaca called on anyone with information about these incidents to speak with police and Hume City Council.

“It costs Hume’s ratepayers money each time a hoon damages our parks and reserves, and Council won’t tolerate this sort of behaviour,” he said.

“We need to catch these offenders because they not only ruin our parks and open space, they also disrupt the peace for residents who live nearby.”

Anyone who has information about vandalism in Hume’s parks should contact police, as well as Hume City Council on 03 9205 2200. Further information on Hume’s parks and reserves is here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 27 May 2015

Updated : 2:18 PM, 28 May 2015

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