Vandals deface shrine again

Colac RSL manager Daryl Lawrence has described a graffiti attack at Memorial Square’s Shrine of Remembrance as “mindless, senseless vandalism”.

POLICE are investigating yet another graffiti attack on Colac’s Shrine of Remembrance.

In the latest incident, offenders used black marker to scrawl affectionate messages on a column.

It is the third attack on the Memorial Square monument in seven months.

Colac Returned and Services League manager Daryl Lawrence described the offence as an act of “mindless, senseless vandalism”.

“As people hear about it, they’ll be fairly disgusted that it’s happened again,” Mr Lawrence said.

“It just shows no respect for what the shrine represents, I wouldn’t think they’d give any thought to it,” he said.

“It’s not all that age group in general, but there’s a minority of kids that seem to have no respect for people’s property in general – it’s not just the shrine.”

Mr Lawrence said he hoped authorities would catch the offenders and issue appropriate punishment to encourage the offenders “to learn about the consequences”.

“The last bunch of graffiti that young guy did, he was made to come and sell Anzac badges with us, but he turned up one morning and lasted ‘til lunchtime and we never saw him again,” he said.

Sergeant Nick Buenen of the Colac police said the graffiti showed a complete lack of reverence to the shrine and the community.

“This type of offence and certainly with the circumstances and it being a cultural icon and a memorial for remembrance, we’ll be seeking the strongest available sanction possible,” Sgt Buenen said.

“We have very strong indications as to who the offenders are and we’re seeking witnesses and any community support,” he said.

Colac Otway Shire Council infrastructure and services general manager Neil Allen said the council would assist police with their inquiries.

“We expect that similar to last time, cleaners will use a grinder to carefully remove the graffiti, then buff the grinded area to conceal it as much as possible.”

Meanwhile, Colac police have arrested a teenager for criminal damage in an unrelated incident.

Sgt Buenen alleged the teenager smashed a window at a Queen Street milk bar on Sunday morning.

“The window was worth about a thousand dollars so it was significant damage, and the juvenile was bailed to appear at Colac Magistrate’s Court,” he said.

“Police were notified by the owners of the premises and the offender was caught at the scene,” he said.

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