Hooligans hamper main street upgrade works

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
The main street redevelopment is in full swing, despite interference from vandals at the weekend.
Camera IconThe main street redevelopment is in full swing, despite interference from vandals at the weekend.

Police have been called to monitor the Margaret River main street redevelopment after hooligans changed traffic signs and destroyed sandbags at the weekend.

Residents are urged to inform police about any suspicious activity after detour signs and other items were vandalised last Friday night.

Shire of Augusta-Margaret River president Ian Earl said the hijinks could have had potentially dangerous consequences and it was not lighthearted fun.

“What we saw on Friday and Saturday night was malicious and could have caused an accident,” Cr Earl said.

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“It’s a drain on Shire resources and costs money to clean up, with ratepayers ultimately footing the bill.

“Cleaning up the mess is also a distraction for the contractor. The time they are spending on making the site operational again takes away from them being able to get on with the works.

“The interference also risked blowing out the project time frame.

Shire chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown said contractors were paid extra to review and reinstate the correct signs on Saturday, adding to the burden on ratepayers. It was suspected late-night revellers were to blame.

Margaret River police officer-in-charge Sergeant Luke Fowler said officers were asked to carry out patrols after venues shut on Saturday night to avoid a repeat of the spree.

Police will continue the patrols, which Sergeant Fowler said would extend to neighbouring streets serving as detours for the redevelopment after residents complained about erratic drivers.

The Times also witnessed several near-misses this week — on the main street, as well as Georgette Drive next to Margaret River Primary School.

“People need to be a lot more careful and patient,” Sgt Fowler said.

“Patience is certainly the biggest issue.”

Cr Earl said the project was already “running against the clock” to finish underground stormwater work before winter.

“We need the contractors to be able to focus their full attention on getting the job done,” he said.

Anyone with information on the vandalism were asked to call police on 13 14 44.

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