Released 02/05/2013

Through the combined efforts of ACT Parks and Conservation Service rangers and ACT Policing's Rural Patrol, an offender who damaged the security gate at Vanity's Crossing on the Cotter River has been convicted and fined $650.

"In October 2012 a male offender was detected using a portable angle grinder to cut holes in one of the security gates at Vanity's Crossing," Manager of Regional Operations, National Parks & Catchments, Brett McNamara, said today.

"The blatant act of vandalism increased the risk of contamination of the Cotter Catchment, with locked gates erected on both sides of the crossing in February 2012 as a precautionary measure to reduce the risk of an event which could compromise the water quality of the Cotter River. The Cotter River provides over 80 percent of Canberra and Queanbeyan's drinking water.

"The vandalism not only damaged public property taking time and resources to repair, but also put one of the limited number of water sources in the ACT at greater risk. It is good to see a strong message sent from the ACT Magistrates Court in relation to this offence."

Mr McNamara said the outcome underscores the strength of the positive and proactive working relationship between Parks and Conservation rangers and ACT Policing.

"An act of vandalism or anti-social behaviour in the ACT's parks and reserves does not go unnoticed. There are a number of strategies used by the police and rangers across the conservation estate to detect and act on information received from members of the public."

Mr McNamara encouraged members of the public to report incidents of vandalism or anti-social behaviour in our parks or reserves to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

- Statement ends -

Section: ACT Territory and Municipal Services Directorate | Media Releases

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