The growing problem of vandalism and graffiti around Corrimal should be everybody’s concern, says prominent business figure Paul Boultwood.
The president of the Corrimal Chamber of Commerce said the repeated vandalism at a landmark inclusive playground was “the straw the broke the camel’s back” and the community needs to take responsibility.
The playground, Luke’s Place in Memorial Park, has been targeted by firebugs multiple times in the past six weeks with most recently the park’s dish swing set alight.
Mr Boultwood said the incident is one of many that keep happening in Corrimal and surrounding suburbs and is calling for the general public and business owners to attend a community meeting on Monday to find a solution.
He’ll be joined by Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, member for Keira Ryan Park, police from the Wollongong Crime Unit and co-founder of Corrimal Revitalisation Action Group Valerie Hussain.
“Never underestimate of what a small team of like-minded individuals and how they can change the world,” Mr Boultwood said.
“We’re sick and tired of being the dumping ground for the scourge of society.”
Mr Boultwood urged residents from neighbouring suburbs like Bellambi, Woonona and Bulli to also band together and help a common gripe.
Solutions he would like to discuss are the installation of CCTV and increased lighting around parks, more police patrols around businesses on foot and to reintroduce a neighbourhood watch program run by residents.
“We can’t just let police and council do it all, we need to get our own hands dirty,” he said.
Cr Bradbery said community members were becoming too complacent and agreed everyone should be responsible for community assets.
“I’m just really concerned there’s a whole attitude out there that community assets belong to someone else but they belong to the people,” he said.
“If we put in security officers … that takes away funds from other things and of course the damage itself needs to be repaired.”
Cr Bradbery said residents need to be more watchful in their community and alert authorities when they see something that’s not right.
He also believed a lot of vandalism comes from children who should be better supervised and young people who lack respect for community property.
The meeting will be held at Corrimal Region Uniting Church, Russell Street in Corrimal, Monday 14th August at 6:30pm.