Animal activists who oppose the ACT Government’s kangaroo cull have continued to vandalise public property with Territory and Municipal Services expecting taxpayers to foot the bill for thousands of dollars of damage.
The most recent incidents of vandalism come one month after activists damaged the windscreens and tyres of 10 government owned cars, vandalised property with anarchist graffiti, and broke windows and panels on the Parks and Conservation depot in Farrer.
A Territory and Municipal Sercices media spokesman said in recent weeks vandals have stolen and defaced a number of signs alerting the public to the closure of nature reserves for the kangaroo cull, glued padlocks rendering gates shut, and cut through fences around the Pinnacle Nature Reserve in numerous locations.
A TAMS spokesman said while the incidents of vandalism were not as severe as the attack on the Parks and Conversation depot in mid-June, they are a frustrating waste of resources and ultimately cost the taxpayer money.
“When you add up the various incidents of vandalism and the time it takes staff to fix the problems, then it ends up being several thousands of dollars at the expense of the tax payer,” said
TAMS are required to replace signs alerting the public to the closure of reserves for the kangaroo cull once they have been stolen or vandalised, which has contributed to the cost to taxpayers.
“It’s far from ideal as we put up the signs to inform the public that the reserves are closed for security reasons,” he said.
“The contractor and our staff have a comprehensive safety regime in place so that shooting only ever takes place if we are sure there are no people in the area.
“Undertaking the cull safely and humanely are the most important factors.”
Poor weather conditions have had an impact on the progress of culls to date although the government will continue until August 1 as planned.
“The ACT Government does not provide status updates throughout the cull, but rather an announcement will be made on August 1,” said a spokesman.
Eight nature reserves in the ACT will remain closed overnight until July 31 for the kangaroo cull.
They are the Callum Brae off Mugga Lane, Goorooyarroo and adjacent land in Gungahlin, Jerrabomberra Grassland West, Kama near Hawker, Mount Painter near Cook, Mulanggari in Gungahlin, Mulligans Flat in Gungahlin, and the Pinnacle and adjacent land near Hawker.
Most of the reserves will be closed from 3pm until 7am each day. Two sites, Mount Painter and the Pinnacle, will close from 5pm and reopen at 7am.
TAMS have urged anyone with information regarding the vandalism to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.