Community outraged by vandalism of natural treasure
A SOUTHERN Downs community has condemned the vandalism, littering, and even hooning that has defiled their once-pristine swimming spot.
Emu Vale resident David Noffke was devastated on Monday when he found the Yangan Rockies were vandalised overnight, with explicit messages such as “f —k yeah bud” and “you s —t” graffitied in neon paint.
He claimed he saw a group of about four teenagers hanging around the area on Sunday evening, though had thought nothing of it until the next morning.
The careless damage was “heartbreaking” to Mr Noffke and his wife, who like so many others adore the natural haven and often take their children or grandchildren there.
“We’re picking up bongs, used needles, broken glass, and empty stubbies whenever we’re down there, and now the graffiti as well,” Mr Noffke said.
“The needles in the river where people are swimming, that’s what scares me – you’re just going to think you’ve stood on a rock.
“There’s the hooning as well – we’ve got marks all up the road, and personally I’ve nearly been in a head-on twice because people swing around the corner that quickly.”
Mr Noffke even claimed he and his wife once had to turn back a ute towing a load of rubbish to prevent it being dumped in the river.
The Emu Vale resident reported the vandalism to the police and Southern Downs Regional Council on Tuesday, and said he received a swift response from both the council and the community.
“The council said they’re going to make it a priority, to get out here and have it cleaned up,” Mr Noffke said.
“The community has been absolutely great as well – we’ve had people offering to come out and help, whether that’s picking up rubbish or water-blasting the graffiti off the rocks.
“It’s such a beautiful spot, I just don’t understand why people want to wreck it.”
SDRC and Yangan Police were contacted for the story but were unavailable for comment.