Animal activists who oppose the ACT government's ongoing kangaroo cull are believed to have broken into a city maintenance depot in Holder on early Tuesday morning and smashed the windscreens and tyres of eight government vehicles.
Territory and Municipal Services spokeswoman Jane Carder said the damaged vehicles are used to clean shopping malls and toilets in Canberra's south and the vandalism will cause significant delays and inconvenience in coming days.
This latest incident of vandalism comes just a month after the vandalism of 10 government cars at the Parks and Conservation depot in Farrer.
Since then, signs alerting the public to park closures have been stolen and vandalised by animal activists, with TAMS management expecting taxpayers to bear the cost of several thousand dollars in damages.
Ms Carder said vandals entered the Holder depot at about 3am by cutting a large hole the size of a door in the depot fence.
The attack was captured on CCTV and footage has been supplied to ACT Policing, which will now investigate the vandalism.
Ms Carder said an item of interest was left behind at the depot and has been provided to police to assist their inquiries.
The Holder depot is not involved in wildlife management or the kangaroo cull and Ms Carder said the attack came as a shock to the workers at the depot.
''This was a total surprise to us,'' Ms Carder said. ''We deliver core municipal service and have nothing at all to do with any wildlife issues around the ACT.''
Ms Carder called on the offenders to end their rampage of vandalism as it was not beneficial to anyone.
''Stop these senseless acts, they are not getting anybody anywhere,'' she said. ''There's no advantage in damaging our maintenance vehicles that help keep the city clean.''
Ms Carder said damage was estimated at $8000, although that would depend on the cost of replacing windscreens and tyres.
No graffiti was left on the cars by vandals at the Holder depot, which was the case in the earlier attack at Athllon Drive, where anarchist symbols were drawn on car doors.
Ms Carder said the ''senseless vandalism'' meant cleaning would be limited in the coming days.
''We won't be able to get out and clean the shopping centres and toilets at this stage,'' she said
''We are doing the bare minimum and have borrowed other vehicles but generally we won't be able to get into the city or the Woden Weston region.''
Ms Carder said the act was a waste of taxpayers’ money. ''When I first heard this in the morning I just couldn't believe it because it's such a senseless act of vandalism.'' Ms Carder said workers at the Holder centre were disappointed they could not carry out their work on Tuesday.
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the government expected vandalism, but it would be useless in stopping the cull.
''We know that there are very strong opinions around the cull of kangaroos and the extremes people will go to try and disrupt the cull that has been legally authorised to occur,'' she said.
''It costs money, we have to pay for it and the cull still goes ahead, so I am not sure it actually delivers an outcome for anyone.''
Ms Gallagher said vandalism cost ACT taxpayers a huge amount of money.
''We can try and do whatever we can to minimise the chance of it but every year it seems to be a bit of a theme of 'this is what happens with the kangaroo cull,' '' she said.
The vandalism at the Holder depot comes after the discovery of threatening notes left for workers carrying out the kangaroo cull over the weekend.
One note labelled the rangers as ''killers for hire'' and warned them that ''your time will come''.
A TAMS spokesman said activists have also cut fences at nature reserves closed for the kangaroo cull during the past month.
One Canberran discovered the notes along with vandalised fences at Mount.Painter nature reserve when she visited over the weekend.
She said the paddock contained up to 20 horses which were put at risk by the vandalism of the fences.
''If the horses had wandered up into that area of the paddock, they would have been easily able to get out, and from there been exposed to roads and members of the public as it is a popular walking track,'' she said.
with Ben Latham