The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

Phone 07 5494 2454
Fax 07 54943268
Email: rangenews@dnet.aunz.com

Security at Maleny Showgrounds
following Maleny S.E.S. thefts

by Cameron Outridge

Maleny Showgrounds will have to be locked down in order to prevent an increasing prevalence of vandalism and thefts.

Frustrated groundsman Bob Brooks said the vandalism of toilet and shower facilities was occuring regularly.   He said when a new gate was ready the showgrounds would be locked down at 11pm and re-opened at 5am.   Toilet facilities may also have to be locked up.    In the most recent incident vandals burned plastic bins and toilet seats in two facilities.

“I’m faced with this sort of damage all the time,’’ he said.  “It’s the youngsters who are doing it.    The question is where are their parents?” John Wenban, who walks his dog at the showgrounds every morning, agreed it was getting beyond a joke.  “I spend half my time here picking up after them.   It’s just a bloody shame.”  “If I saw who did it I’d probably put them in stocks outside the IGA with a barrel of tomatoes and shame them in public,’’ he said, tongue in cheek.

Another worrying factor was the verbal abuse of women who used the showgrounds hot water facilities to shower.  “This is a well used public facility,’’ said Mr Brooks.  “A lot of people come here for a hot shower.   The abuse of women in the showers has been reported to police.”   Hoons leaving tyremarks which damaged the ovals was also a concern.

John Wenban and Bob Brooks inspect
yet more damage to the showgrounds facilities.
  

Security tightened after theft of equipment Maleny Rural Fire Brigade Warden Tom Malone and SES Group Leader Lloyd Larney, pictured below, have spent days tightening security in and around the SES Shed.   This follows a break in last month when thieves hijacked a fire truck to transport stolen equipment from the shed.   They stole an 11 horsepower outboard motor and brand new two-way radios.   They also attempted to get away with a high powered blower vac, used to clear firebreaks, and a motorbike.

A security guard discovered the open shed with the lights on and alerted police.   Mr Larney said the security guard then saw the fire truck, driven by the thieves, on its way back to the shed.   “They must have been coming back for more gear,’’ he said.   But they saw the security guard and took off, eventually dumping the fire truck at a dead end at Treehaven Way.

“We think it’s an inside job,’’ said Mr Malone. “Someone that knows this shed.   Someone has actually cased this place pretty well.”

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.