ACT News


TAMS sees red at repeated repairs

The department of Territory and Municipal Services is threatening to cut off electricity to a Phillip skate park after vandals damaged an electricity box less than 24 hours after it had been repaired.

A $1000 bill to repair the electricity box the first time at the Edison Skatepark may seem "petty" for a government that spends more than $700,000 a year cleaning graffiti and repairing vandalised assets, but the department has had enough.

"It's like being pecked to death by ducks," said Julie Garbode, who ensures the safety of parks and playgrounds in the Territory.

''It just depletes our budget. It might sound petty in isolation, but it's really part of a much bigger picture. We've spent many thousands of dollars doing repairs in there that are just vandalism related since the skate park facility [opened] in March 2010."

Ms Garbode said the vandals may have been trying to access power points or adjust the timing for the lights, which are set to turn off at 10pm.

"I don't think they're actually achieving a great deal by doing it, but what they do is put the electrical supply facility out of order when they do,'' she said.

TAMS will repair the electricity box again, but has put up signs warning that power may be disconnected permanently if it happens again.

"We really want to see the skate park used and we do speak to the users and try to reach good arrangements about their activities there,'' Ms Garbode said.

"I'm not saying that the vandalism is caused by anyone in particular … but it's users who are going to be impacted.''