Bass Coast,

Vandalism Costs Community

Vandalism is a common occurrence in Bass Coast Shire, with culprits causing thousands of dollars in damage to community facilities and assets.

Bass Coast Shire Council’s General Manager Infrastructure, Felicity Sist, said public toilets were a popular target for vandalism, with significant damage done to the public toilet on the Cowes Foreshore recently.

“We regularly find damage done to toilet blocks, such as hand dryers and toilet roll holders pulled off the wall, door locks damaged, toilet seats ripped off, graffiti and tagging,” Ms Sist said.

“We’ve even had instances of the syringe dispensers pulled off the wall, which is very dangerous, and a fan pulled out of the roof.”

Ms Sist said the vandalism was a big cost to the community and ratepayers.

“Not only does it cost ratepayers to repair the damage done by vandals, but it also spoils facilities for the entire community to use,” Ms Sist said.

Ms Sist said while it costs as little as $20 to replace toilet seats or door locks, replacing damaged cisterns can cost up to $350, and it all adds up.

“When toilet cubicles are graffitied, we have to repaint the whole cubicle and that costs around $500,” Ms Sist.

“We also repaint numerous toilet blocks every year, which costs anywhere between $7,000 and $10,000.”

Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, urged the community to report any suspicious behaviour or instances of vandalism to the police.

“Vandalism can be investigated by police, and when the culprit is caught, they can be made to pay for damages they caused,” Cr Brown said.

“We want our facilities to be in the best condition possible for our community and visitors.

“I ask everyone to respect public property and think carefully before you cause any damage.”