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Several timber panels were destroyed in a recent act of vandalism at Jacaranda Park in Grafton. Image: Emma Pritchard.

Vandalism strikes park in Grafton

Jacaranda Park has been hit by vandals again.

The most recent attack, which occurred on October 9, saw the public toilets, musical instruments and a children’s slide tower targeted in what has been described as a senseless and despicable act of stupidity.

It comes less than 12 months after the popular local attraction received a $1.2 million upgrade.

Mother-of-three Shelby Walters, often takes her young family to Jacaranda Park when they visit the Clarence Valley.

She said vandalism has no place in any community and she was upset to discover one of her favourite destination’s had been damaged yet again.

“My kids love the new equipment and it’s really infuriating that some stupid people want to ruin and destroy a happy place like this,” she said.  

David Sutton, Open Spaces Coordinator from Clarence Valley Council, said a majority of the damage resulting from the vandalism occurred to the slide tower which had several timber wall and floor panels smashed on the upper sections.

The slide tower is currently unable to be used and is fenced off from the rest of the playground facilities.

“It is extremely disappointing to be alerted to acts of vandalism,” Mr Sutton said.

“The facilities are provided for the community from money paid by the community and to see them damaged and not able to be used due to malicious behaviour is really frustrating.”

In March 2019, vandals caused thousands of dollars worth of damage when two toilets at Jacaranda Park were destroyed and earlier this year, nearby residents complained of constant issues of anti-social behaviour at the park, prompting local police to patrol the area regularly.

When asked if acts of vandalism had recently been reported in other parks and public spaces, Mr Sutton said there has been a number of incidents across the local government area.

Numerous public toilets have been damaged in Maclean, Iluka and Yamba with items being smashed and taps and sink drain pipes stolen by offenders.

Graffiti has also been reported throughout the Clarence Valley with a number of buildings and fences targeted.

“We have also seen an increase in poor hygiene in our public toilets generally, with many instances of people defecating on the floor and spreading faeces and blood across surfaces,” Mr Sutton said.

Although he admitted vandalism occurs throughout the year, Mr Sutton said from anecdotal evidence, it appears there has been an increase following the lifting of many restrictions introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Sutton said the latest attack at Jacaranda Park had been reported to police, adding CVC are working with local residents and strongly encourage anyone with information regarding vandalism or anti-social behaviour to report it to the police so offenders may be apprehended and charged or fined accordingly. 

“We also request that all members of our community come together to prevent this occurring again by treating these facilities like they are your own and by taking responsibility for your and your children’s actions,” Mr Sutton said.

Replacement parts are currently being fabricated for the damaged equipment and repairs are expected to be completed by the middle of November.


A popular slide tower at Jacaranda Park in Grafton has been temporarily closed to the public following an act of vandalism in early October. Image: Emma Pritchard.
A close up of the damage caused by vandals who viciously smashed several timber panels on a slide tower at Jacaranda Park in Grafton. Image: Emma Pritchard.