Tooms Lake toilets burnt down

$20,000 BILL: Northern Midlands Mayor David Downie says that there has been ongoing problems with illegal trespassing. Picture: Paul Scambler

$20,000 BILL: Northern Midlands Mayor David Downie says that there has been ongoing problems with illegal trespassing. Picture: Paul Scambler

The Tooms Lake toilets that were closed in July were burnt down, according to Northern Midlands Council engineering officer Jonathan Gailbraith.

The monthly vandalism report stated that the damage from the incident would cost the Northern Midlands Council $20,000 – a figure which is more than double the amount of total vandalism damage over the past year.

Mr Gailbraith said it is unknown how the fire started. 

“It’s the most significant vandalism case we’ve had in a number of years. It does impact on our budget, especially something of that cost,” he said.

“I’m not sure if anybody really knows [how they were lit], it already happened before anyone else found out about it.

“It was reported to the fire department and the police, but I haven’t been informed of their investigation, and I don’t know if anyone else in council has.”

Mayor David Downie said the vandalism was an issue of concern for the council, but that it was doing everything to rectify the situation.

“This is an unusual occurence, and the council wants to make sure that the facilities are there for people visiting the area,” he said.

“We don’t want any damage to the environment, and we’re very conscious of the effect sewerage can have on the area.

“It’s a storage point in the upper part of the catchment and we don’t want human activities to be detrimental to this area.”

Cr Downie also noted a string of worrying incidents in the Tooms Lake area recently.

“There has been a few issues up there with inappropriate behaviour with people accessing land that they shouldn’t be accessing,” he said.

“[The police] stick roadblocks across the main road that goes into the bush, and people go and pull the roadblock down and go access it.

“I know a few weeks ago there were 30-odd vehicles out there that shouldn’t be there. They were just hooning around, driving around the bush to try and find some mud to put onto their vehicle.”

Both the Tasmanian Fire Services and Tasmania Police said it had no record of any current investigation into the fire.

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