RECENT vandalism has been a “slap in the face” to the whole community.
That is the view of Leeton Shire Council mayor Paul Maytom, who is highly unimpressed with the actions of those vandalising signs that welcome “new settlers, migrants and refugees”.
Council has a policy in place that offers a $2000 reward for information that leads to a conviction of offenders responsible for any acts of vandalism or graffiti in the shire.
This money is on the plate in this case, with councillor Maytom hopeful it would lead to more information coming in or, at the very least, for the offenders to be stop what they are doing.
Cr Maytom said the vandalism was creating division and was not going to be tolerated.
“I’m aware that people of course are allowed to have their own opinions, but this is certainly not the way to show it,” he said.
The swastika has also been sprayed on town signage, with Wiradjuri signs also targeted, leaving Cr Maytom dismayed.
“The cowardly actions of one person and a spray can won't change the residents of Leeton shire’s core values of tolerance and caring for each other,” he said.
“Graffiti vandalism is a crime, as is racial vilification.”
Leeton is one of 107 councils in Australia that has been declared a community that welcomes refugees.
Cr Maytom was hopeful these incidents wouldn’t tarnish the town’s reputation as being an inclusive community.
Council is now looking at options to place hardened perspex over its signage where possible.
“We can’t have the message out there that we are tolerating this behaviour. We might not be able to change it, but we can catch them. If we catch them, we can convict them.”
Anyone with information should contact council on 6953 0911. Details will remain confidential and, if a conviction occurs, a reward of $2000 will be paid.