Lockdown lunacy

Some seats beside one of the creeks at the Tumut MTB trails were set on fire by vandals in recent weeks, while most of the state was in lockdown.

Vandals took advantage of the recent Regional NSW lockdown period to graffiti public amenities in Tumut, smash beer bottles, block basins, kick in walls and doors and set fire to features of the town’s volunteer-built mountain bike trails.

The Snowy Valleys Council said the damage to council-owned facilities in the past two weeks has cost over $4000 for clean-up, repair and replacement. Facilities have also been closed to the public while the work was done, impacting the wider community. 

Damage was recorded at the Elm Park Hockey Fields, Bila Park Richmond Park, Wynyard Centre and Fitzroy St.

At the Tumut MTB Trails, club Vice President Graeme Martin said volunteers were disappointed to find that trail signs had been knocked over or pulled apart and other features had been destroyed.

“We have trail marker signs that mark the direction and grade of the trails and they’ve either knocked the posts out, which we’ve had to put back in, or they’ve actually destroyed the signs,” he said. 

“Because the signs are printed, they’ve peeled the top layer off them, so we’ve got to get the signs completely remade.”

Mr Martin said the time and funds for the repair work would have to come from the volunteers, since the entire trail system has been built and maintained without any official funding.

“We had some trailside features and they’ve burnt plastic chairs and things like that, which were part of the features,” he added.

Mr Martin said the vandalism has been ‘progressive’, increasing over the past few weeks. 

“It’s probably half a day’s work or more there, just in the bits we’ve found,” he said.

“There’s a group of us that have put thousands of hours into those trails and some bozo goes and just trashes it for the sake of it, it’s just really disheartening.”

Anyone who has information about the recent vandalism is encouraged to report it to police via the NSWPF Community Portal at https://portal.police.nsw.gov.au.