Ratepayers foot staggering graffiti, vandalism bills
TWO councils have collectively paid nearly $30,000 to cover the costs of vandalism in their regions, demonstrating the devastating drain vandals can represent.
And Lockyer Valley Regional Council have been particularly hard-hit.
"For the current financial year, Lockyer Valley Regional Council has so far spent more than $20,000 to replace community infrastructure that was damaged through vandalism," Deputy Mayor Jason Cook said.
"Repeated break-ins, theft and building damage at the Gatton and Withcott Transfer Stations in November 2019 cost Council $16,076.98."
The brutal toll in November was the LVRC's most expensive month by far, bringing their total spending on vandalism costs so far this financial year to more than $20,000.
Cr Cook said beyond the repeated damages in November, graffiti was the second largest contribution to vandalism costs incurred by the LVRC.
LVRC vandalism costs so far this financial year:
- July - $740.07
- September - $223.08
- October - $203.49
- November - $16,076.98
- December - $1067.91
- March - $1331.13
- April - $92.05
- May - $318.30
- TOTAL - $20,052.94
By contrast, the neighbouring Somerset region has only spent a total of $8857 on vandalism costs, but spent more in most months.
The LVRC have also had more months without any vandalism, with nothing reported in August, January, Or February, whereas in the Somerset only April has gone by without any incidents.
Somerset vandalism costs so far this financial year:
- July 2019 - $454
- August 2019 - $2161
- September 2019 - $1965
- October 2019 - $1733
- November 2019 - $434
- December 2019 - $626
- January 2020 - $770
- February 2020 - $302
- March 2020 - $412
- Total - $8857
Both councils have noted a rise in incidents relating to thefts and damages at public toilets.
"Council has seen an increase of soap and paper towel dispenser theft since March 2020," Cr Cook said.
Similar trends were noted in the Somerset in the same month, with three incidents taking place at two public toilets.
With costs continuing to mount, the final amounts are expected be to be higher still be the end of the financial year.