Arson attack sparks anger
Tuesday, 12th November, 2013
By Darrin Manuel
Council and volunteers have been left stunned and saddened by an arson attack at The Living Desert over the weekend.
The pay station shed was completely destroyed by a fire that was set sometime between 6pm Saturday and 9.30am Sunday.
Police estimated that it would cost Council thousands of dollars to repair.
“It’s extremely disappointing, it just goes beyond belief that someone would go to such extra special measures to burn something down for no purpose,” said Council Group manager Sustainability, Peter Oldsen.
“It’s a big blow to our volunteers ... to have to confront that vandalism in the morning was extremely disheartening for them, and for the staff.”
Mayor Wincen Cuy was seething that vandals had targeted the popular tourist destination and nature reserve, and said Council would do their best to ensure the culprit was caught.
“It’s just senseless and gutless vandalism, what purpose does it serve?
“And it was preconceived - they’ve gone out there deliberately to do this.
“It’s an absolute kick in the guts for the volunteers, they love it out there, it’s their passion.”
With a number of fires burning out of control across NSW in the last week, Mr Cuy said it was staggering that someone would go into the bush and start the fire.
“There is nothing so low as to burn something down. What if they’d sparked a bushfire and it burned back into the community? It would be devastating.
“We’ll be working with the police to follow this up in every aspect of the law and track down these scum.”
The fire is the second setback for the Living Desert in as many weeks.
Earlier this month the Abbott government confirmed that they would not honour a Labor funding promise of $160,000 to construct a number of amenities at the site.
Any person with information on the fire is encouraged to call the police station or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.