30 April, 2024

Hooning tears up fields

Vandals have caused more than $100,000 in damage to two Somerset sports parks, after they severed electrical cables to lights and performed burnouts across the fields.

Electrical cables were cut at The Fernvale Sports Park.
Electrical cables were cut at The Fernvale Sports Park.

The acts will cost clubs tens of thousands in canteen revenue and force teams to play away games for the foreseeable future.

Between 10am on Tuesday, April 23, and 6am on Wednesday, April 24, vandals cut through the cables of several light towers at the Fernvale sports ground, adjacent to the Brisbane Valley Highway.

Brisbane Valley Rattlers AFC has said this latest act of vandalism will cost Council over $100,000 to replace and repair, with Rattlers president Graham Smith estimating the club would lose anything from $10,000 to $20,000 from kiosk takings and other things.

A flabbergasted Mr Smith voiced his dismay, saying “the effect on community sport is horrendous”.

He also stressed that “we’re a volunteer organisation”.

Mr Smith said a new training ground had to be sought for the Rattlers seniors and juniors, while scheduled home games for the Rattlers seniors would be played at away venues until further notice.

The damage came just one week after vandals destroyed a soccer field at the Lowood Recreational Complex, by driving onto the field and completing several burnouts.

Both facilities are managed by user groups for the benefit of the community, and owned by Somerset Regional Council.

Somerset Mayor Jason Wendt said it’s likely the vandals pulled the cables out of the ground looking for copper, but abandoned the site after noticing all cables were aluminium.

He slammed the latest incident as a blatant disregard for community.

“Council installed these lights in 2021 to support the operations of the Brisbane Valley Rattlers Australian Rules Football Club and the Marburg Mount Crosby Cricket Club,” Cr Wendt said.

“This damage is extremely disappointing. It’s disruptive to the community and the reality is the attempted theft has accomplished nothing.

“The reality is, the actions of these vandals is disrupting the lives of facility users and costing rate payers unnecessarily.”

Cr Wendt said council would review CCTV and pass on findings to police.

“Council will also look at implementing further provisions to stop these vandals in the future.”

Regarding the Lowood vandalism, Cr Wendt said the recreational complex had cameras and captured footage of the off ending vehicle in action.

“We need to work together to send a clear message that our community will not tolerate this, or any type, of anti-social behaviour,” he said.

Anyone with information about the vandalism at either sports field is asked to contact police.

The soccer field at the Lowood Recreational Complex.
The soccer field at the Lowood Recreational Complex.

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