COUNCILLORS have approved a $50,000 refurbishment project for the KA Pretty Soundshell in Drouin’s Civic Park which will see the canopy protected from vandals.
Banks and walls toward the rear of the soundshell, which was built in the early 1990s, have allowed vandals access to the canopy, which has been slashed, burnt and graffitied and in recent years has become weakened.
There have also been instances of people riding bikes and skateboards on the structure and decorative timber slats being burnt by fires lit beneath them.
The refurbishment project will see the damaged canopy replaced and the ground around the structure lowered and walls changed to make access more difficult.
At a council earlier this month, Drouin ward councillor Tricia Jones said the need for works was “unfortunate”.
“It’s unfortunate that some young people… have risked their own lives and done significant damage to the canopy,” Cr Jones said on moving the refurbishment motion.
Fellow Drouin ward councillor Terry Williamson said there was public support for the project.
“There’s a lot of volunteers (sic) who will assist in doing this, The Men’s Shed has offered to [do some works] and Rotary is interested,” Cr Williamson said.
Funding for a more expensive project had been scheduled for this financial year but was withdrawn at the mid-year budget review. The now-reduced funding has been promised again in the 2013/14 budget.
Previously barbed wire was added to the structure’s supporting struts in an attempt to prevent access, but makeshift ladders and other access methods meant that move had little success.
More successful was the planting of thorny bushes around access points.
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