An overnight vandalism attack on recently installed water safety equipment at the Wagga Wagga Beach precinct has angered and disappointed community members.
One of the new lifebuoys containing an angel ring and throw rope at the beach were targeted on Monday night (13 December) or Tuesday morning and were significantly damaged.
Wagga Wagga City Council was advised of the attack on Tuesday morning and found the rope tied in several knots and suspended about five metres up a nearby tree.
Council’s General Manager, Peter Thompson, said vandalism of such vital equipment was a poor reflection on those responsible.
“This is life saving equipment which has been put there to assist in the event of an emergency and now this act has put the whole community at risk,” Mr Thompson said.
“It is a senseless act which has been reported to NSW Police for investigation.
“Council worked alongside the community to identify the need for this water safety equipment to be installed at the beach and the last thing you would expect is for some people within our community to go out of their way to vandalise it.
“If there was an incident where the equipment was needed then this irresponsible act could have dire consequences … I’m sure they have not thought about the consequences of their actions.
“The broader community should be concerned with what has happened and I urge them to help us all call out this unacceptable behaviour.”
Royal Life Saving NSW Riverina Regional Manager Michael Dasey said he was disappointed with the damage to equipment.
“It’s something you hope would never happen,” Mr Dasey said. “Now it has, we would urge anyone with information to report it to the police.
“Council and Royal Life Saving are doing their bit to meet community expectations. We have installed this equipment in line with what the community want, and to see people within our very community do this damage is disappointing, to say the least.”
Three lifebuoys and a defibrillator were installed at the beach precinct in November.
The defibrillator was not damaged. The damaged equipment will be repaired and replaced as soon as possible.