A newly planted Firewheel Tree has been snapped in half and about a dozen small plants have been stolen from garden beds at the Hyde and Oak Street Intersection – acts of vandalism that have been decried on Facebook and by Bellingen Shire Council.
Also, on Wednesday evening, one of the bollards from the cenotaph area was ripped from the pavement with force and stolen.
Deputy General Manager Operations Matt Fanning described it as disheartening and extremely disappointing.
“This is just adding to the cost and delays the finalisation of the current stage of the project,” Mr Fanning said. “The behaviour of a few people affects our whole community and reflects badly on our town.”
People on the Bellingen Facebook page called it “totally mindless” and “pathetic” behaviour:
“ human nature at its worst … vandalism and division and differences of opinion within communities has been around a long time...”
“I'm not surprised. I believe the constant negativity around the new works in Bello has led some people to believe they have the green light to destroy it. What a waste of energy and money.”
“This is disgusting,this is vandalism at its worst.Hope they catch whoever did this, such a shame it was looking great!”
The plants have now been replaced and a new bollard and Firewheel Tree have been ordered.
Surveillance cameras in the area are currently being checked in an attempt to find the culprits.
The matter has been referred to the police and anyone with further information is urged to contact Council’s Operations Division on 6655 7300 or Bellingen Police on 6655 1444.