Mayor decries memorial garden ‘desecration’

THE removal of nearly 40 plants from the recently-opened Queen’s Jubilee Garden at New Norfolk was an act of desecration as well as theft, Derwent Valley Council mayor Michelle Dracoulis said this afternoon (Thursday). Inspecting the damage at the Humphrey St garden, Cr Dracoulis expressed disappointment at the lack of respect for the memorial to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

“What’s really disappointing when something like this happens is that it’s not the council that’s being taken from, it’s the community,” Cr Dracoulis said. “These are the community’s plants and in this instance we’ve had someone desecrate a memorial. It doesn’t get much lower than this … and I’m looking forward to seeing whoever has done this being caught and prosecuted.”

Cr Dracoulis said 37 plants and 14 metal stakes worth just over $1000 had been stolen overnight, with the crime being identified by outdoor workers early this morning. “Staff were hurt and disappointed by the theft as the garden had established beautifully, and is hosting many visitors daily. It was also upsetting to arrive at work and find the desecration of a site of memorial,” she said.

The council advises that the area is covered by video surveillance and the vision will be provided to the police. Camera vision of other similar incidents had resulted in successful prosecutions, a council officer said. They asked that community members be aware of any plants being offered for sale and to report these to the police if they match any of the items listed below:

  • 14 platinum wooly bushes
  • 14 metal stakes
  • 2 silver banksias
  • 1 Elizabeth magnolia
  • 2 salvia African sky
  • 2 native hibiscus
  • 2 native correa
  • 2 yellow bottlebrush
  • 3 purple daisies
  • 9 native grasses

Picture: Derwent Valley Council mayor at the site where multiple plants have been stolen from the Queen’s Jubilee Garden.

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