A basketball ring in Tomakin has been completely removed by Eurobodalla Shire Council after being deemed a safety hazard due to the ring being cut down with an angle grinder earlier in the week.
The Tomakin Community Association (TCA) first noticed the basketball pole was down on Monday afternoon (September 20) and contacted council immediately, who sent a
representative out who inspected the damage, took photos and concluded it was an act of vandalism.
Kathy Arthur, Director of Community, Arts & Recreation at the Eurobodalla Shire Council said it was a pre-meditated act.
"Someone had literally cut the pole off, our engineering staff went and had a look and they could see where someone had a go several times on the pole before getting purchase and really cutting through it," Ms Arthur said.
"Our team went out on Tuesday to make the space safe, so they've had to grind it off at the bottom."
Ms Arthur put the call out for anyone who is aware of what happened at at Jack Buckley Memorial Park in Tomakin on Sunday night (September 19) or Monday morning (September 20) to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The new ring that was installed only a few weeks ago was also damaged, and members of the TCA believe part of the issue was it was not at regulation height when originally installed which allowed for people hanging off ring.
Other members of the Tomakin community have suggested it may have been strong weather conditions that resulted in the damage however council deny these claims.
There has been a spate of vandalism in the Tomakin area over the past year including toilet blocks, pathway safety lights as well as various structures and signs in Tomakin.
The President of the Tomakin Community Association, Megan Kelly says they want to work with council to find a solution sooner rather than later.
"We were very disappointed that we have lost such a critical piece of sports equipment for the local area," Ms Kelly said.
"It has been fully utilised for many years and a focal point for our teenagers and families in the area," she continued.
"In recent days we've noticed people coming along and looking very disappointed that there's now nothing there apart from a concrete slab."
Ms Arthur said Eurobodalla Shire Council was disapointed as well and stressed council is keen to help but it might not be right away.
"We're a little bit concerned about replacing something immediately when there has been a spate of vandalism," Ms Arthur said.
"We're worried it might happen again, so that's a consideration," she said.
Ms Arthur confirmed her team had been in contact with the Association and are looking at whether there is budget savings this year that can be utilised as funding for a new basketaball pole and ring.
"We've already got a plan of capital works that we have to roll out in the next couple of months but if there's any savings there, we can certainly look at drawing some of those funds towards this or at the very least putting it into the forward budget," Ms Arthur said.
The TCA are asking any engineers, or anyone wanting to donate funds to help Tomakin get a new regulation height basketball to email [email protected]
Images: Tomakin Community Association, Google Maps