VANDALS have struck again at Orange Hockey Centre, this time using an angle grinder to cut through newly-installed fencing.
Orange Hockey Inc committee members, all volunteers, were brought to their wits’ end last week when they discovered fencing, similar to fencing installed around schools, was cut.
The committee believes the damage was done to create a short cut through the hockey centre.
The centre was also spray-painted and windows were smashed.
The damage is the latest in a list spanning years and which has cost the centre tens of thousands of dollars to fix.
The centre has also been plagued with antisocial behaviour with groups of children throwing rocks at players.
Volunteer Marion Eslick said she hoped the installation of new CCTV cameras would make a difference and deter troublemakers.
However the last CCTV camera installed at the centre was destroyed by vandals two days into its vigil.
“I just don’t know if it is a battle of wills with [vandals]... all this work is carried out by volunteers and it is extremely frustrating that someone wants to come along and vandalise it,” she said.
The CCTV cameras were being purpose built for the centre and there had been a delay in their production.
Mayor John Davis said council staff and the hockey centre executive were looking at ways to engage children around Glenroi to take up hockey and grow an appreciation for the centre.
The idea to engage community leaders to help deal with the youths, believed to be causing some of the problems, was floated in March.
Cr Davis said that avenue was still a priority but the separate issue of residents cutting holes in the centre’s fence to create a short cut was also being addressed by the installation of cameras.
“It’s staggering that not only will some people cut holes in the older wire mesh fence, but in the latest incident have taken an angle grinder to newer heavy-duty, school-style fences at the site,” he said.
“When the former laneway was closed, it was always expected to be a long-term process to change community habits of where people walk.
“But there are positive signs that many residents are finding it easier to follow a smooth, well-lit path to the highway via Maxwell Avenue, instead of climbing through holes in fences.”
He said he hoped the cameras would arrive soon but if council staff and the hockey association could not come to a solution after the installation of the cameras then they would have to “sit down and look for new ways forward”.