Locals stick together to stamp out park vandalism

GRAFFITI is crudely scrawled on walls, broken beer bottles litter the ground and a public toilet is smashed to bits – welcome to Viaduct Park.

It’s one of a number of Tamworth parks under attack from vandals, and two local youth workers have had enough.

David Palmer and Michelle Marsh are on a crusade to dramatically cut vandal attacks at Viaduct Park, Anzac Park and Burgess Park, saying the incidents are a reflection of a deeper problem.

“If more people went into town on a Friday and Saturday night and saw what some young people were doing, they’d understand better,” Mr Palmer said.

“There are young teenagers sitting on park benches, drinking, smoking, taking drugs and with nothing else to do.”

He said parents of under-age offenders should be forced to clean up graffiti and repair damage to public property.

“It shouldn’t have to come out of ratepayers’ pockets. If we don’t do the damage, why should we have to pay?”

He also called on council to clean off graffiti in a timely manner and address other long-term damage in parks.

But TRC mayor Col Murray said erasing graffiti and replacing broken windows took time – and money.

“We’re not doing as much as we would like at our parks and it comes down to priorities. While we have structured programs for park maintenance, we also have to balance a budget and do other things,” Cr Murray said.

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