Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Angela Toppin is urging community members to report instances of vandalism and suspicious activity following an attack by vandals at Mareeba’s Centenary Park at the weekend.
“Unfortunately, residents, business operators and Council continue to be impacted by property crimes and vandalism and the cost to repair damages continues to rise.”
In the previous financial year, Council spent more than $62,000 to repair vandalism and during this financial year the cost is already nearing $15,000.
Over the weekend, vandals ripped up freshly laid turf and caused significant damage to the public toilets in the centre of the park and the bill to rectify this damage is expected to reach the thousands.
“Not only does vandalism cost ratepayers, but it renders our important public spaces and facilities out of action.”
“This type of crime also causes fear and division within the community,” Mayor Toppin said.
Crime reduction and policing are not core Council responsibilities, however, improving community safety is one of the Council’s key advocacy priorities. During October, Mayor Toppin presented a motion to the Local Government Association of Queensland Conference seeking support to urgently address youth crime and antisocial behaviour in communities.
“This motion was supported by the Local Government Associations in attendance, and I will continue to work with LGAQ to formally advocate to the State government.”
As well as advocating for legislative change and increased funding for support services, Council works closely with the Queensland Police Service.
Mayor Toppin intends to write to Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll to request important police resources are not diverted to other initiatives or other areas of the state.
“The police are working to keep our community safe, but it seems that the current level of resourcing is not sufficient to stop these crimes from taking place.”
“Vandalism and property crime are serious issues with potentially devastating consequences and, as Mayor, I understand when community members become frustrated. This is why I am asking everyone to please report suspicious or unusual activity.”
Call Policelink 24/7 on 131 444 to report non-urgent police matters, or call 000 to report an emergency.