Tree vandals crush city's Christmas spirit

THE Bendigo community has been left disappointed and angry after the Rosalind Park Christmas tree was found vandalised on Monday morning.

Christmas ornaments were scattered across the ground.

A number of the baubles were smashed into pieces.

The fence surrounding the tree was also moved. 

The City of Greater Bendigo will have to fork out $1000 to repair the tree’s damage.  

Mayor Barry Lyons described the incident as a 'mindless act'.

“A small minority seem to think that it is okay to spoil the fun for everyone else,” he said.

"It’s definitely not in the spirit of the festive season."

Cr Lyons said the council would review CCTV footage from the area to see if the vandals could be identified.

“There is a simple message this festive season and in fact all year round – do the wrong thing and you could be caught on camera,” he said.

“Council has a no-tolerance approach to people who damage public property."

Cr Lyons urged members of the community who witnessed anyone vandalising the tree to contact police. 

“I encourage anyone who witnesses any anti-social behaviour such as vandalism to contact the police immediately,” he said.

“I’m just really disappointed that following such a fantastic lighting of the tree event on Friday night that someone has done this to the tree.”

Bendigo resident Lorraine Beattie, who walks past Pall Mall every morning, told the Bendigo Advertiser it was a great shame.

“People just can’t leave things alone,” she said.

“It spoils everything for everyone. 

“It is just terrible.”

It is not the first time the Rosalind Park tree has raised the ire of the Bendigo community. 

Last year a group of people, dressed in Santa costumes, attempted to climb the tree.

The council also plans to install signs at the tree to let people know the area is under CCTV surveillance.

kristen.alebakis@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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