Vandals kill park play

PLAYGROUND equipment at two Tweed Parks - one on the Tweed Coast and the other in Murwillumbah - is to be removed.

Tweed Shire Council has decided to take away play equipment in Barbara Rochester Park at Bogangar because of vandalism which repeatedly saw it smashed or torn apart.

At Murwillumbah, BMX bike-riding facilities may be pulled up because it is in disrepair and subject to flooding.

Councillors have decided to remove the play equipment at Bogangar until “destructive behaviour” in the park abates, following a damming report on the damage from council staff.

The council was told play equipment was installed in the park in August 2007, but since then had been the target of consistent and repeated vandalism and graffiti, while broken glass was often scattered around the area.

Staff said on one occasion a park bench was broken off and placed three metres up a tree.

The swings were broken on a regular basis and broken glass was often found scattered throughout the soft-fall playground area.

That had made the park unsafe and unusable for the public and was costing ratepayers through ongoing repairs and replacement of equipment.

The council staff said residents near the park have written numerous letters to the council about the issue.

In Murwillumbah, a long-time BMX park located off William Street is also to have equipment removed after the staff said it was little-used and the equipment had deteriorated.

They said the area was at the end of a stormwater drainage system and consequently the park had significant drainage problems and was regularly inundated with long periods of stagnant water.

“The condition of the park makes maintenance difficult and attracts regular vandalism,” a report to the council said.

“In its current state the park presents significant maintenance and safety issues.

“Additionally, the park is located in close proximity to residents which has created conflicts in the past.

“The park has come to the end of its lifespan, and in addition to the main- tenance and safety issues presents a significant eye-sore to the residents of this area.”

However, prior to proceeding with the demolition the councillors have called for comments from the community to be lodged by Tuesday week, May 19.

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