Vandals now target garden
By KIREN THANDI
SEEING the arms of a cactus lying dismembered at the foot of its stem, you can't help but hope that the mindless vandal who caused the damage suffered a few spines in the hands while attacking it. The North Coast Regional Botanic Garden is the latest target in a series of criminal vandalism, coming just weeks after a landmark Norfolk pine was cut down with a chainsaw on Boambee Headland. The incident occurring on Monday night at the Botanic Garden saw damage to several plants, a sundial, and a decorative seat, with total cost of damage estimated in the region of $800. Coffs Harbour mayor Cr Keith Rhoades was disgusted, saying such vandalism costs our community in excess of $100,000 each and every year. "I cannot repeat this often enough," the mayor said. "Vandalism is just not acceptable. "There are also dangers that broken glass . . . exposed wires, damaged equipment, can pose for the public until we're notified and can make repairs." This recent spate of vandalism has moved Coffs Harbour City Council to offer a $1000 reward to anyone who supplies information leading to conviction in these cases. In separate incidents over the weekend, a barbecue at Diggers Beach Reserve was damaged and a fire was lit in an attempt to burn down a shelter. Bollards were also knocked over with a vehicle at Boronia Park. The penalty for anyone convicted of such damage can be a fine of up to $2000. Anyone with information about the incidents should contact Coffs Harbour Police.