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For the third time, vandals have damaged or destroyed trees planted in Bega’s Littleton Gardens.
Chief Inspector Anthony Moodie of Bega Police said early on Sunday morning about 21 small trees in the gardens were damaged by snapping their stems or pulling them from the ground.
“It’s another senseless act of vandalism,” he said.
Manager of the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre Jason Holley saw the broken trees on Sunday morning and uploaded photos from the scene to social media.
He said every one of the young trees in the gardens had been damaged.
“My first reaction was disbelief and disgust,” Mr Holley said.
“Vandalism is one thing, but the trees were put there to beautify the area and vandals have destroyed them for no reason other than their own boredom.”
The general manager for Bega Valley Shire Council, Leanne Barnes, said she was disappointed to hear of the damage.
“It’s extremely disappointing to see the Littleton Gardens trees have again been vandalised,” she said.
“We are working on a way forward and will assist the local police in investigating the incident.”
Outrage was also evident from commenters on the Bega District News Facebook page after the details of the incident were published.
Emily Gould said it was “beyond disgusting now” while Laura Agoston said more security at the gardens was needed.
This is the latest event in a stream of similar incidents.
In December 2014, vandals broke and damaged six young trees in the gardens.
At the time, an estimate of the cost to replace the trees with some of a similar type and size was about $500-$1000 each.
In May this year, almost 50 newly-planted Manchurian pear trees were destroyed or damaged in Littleton Gardens, costing thousands of dollars to replace.
BVSC replaced these trees in early August, incorporating both native and exotic trees such as Kurrajong, water gum, claret ash and Chinese pistachio.
Inspector Moodie said Bega Police were investigating Sunday’s incident and were looking to see if CCTV footage was available.
He said if anyone had information regarding the incident they should contact Bega Police on 6492 9999 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.