River crossing vandalism

Horsham Rural City Council is calling on vandals to rethink their actions after gates at a rural Wimmera River vehicle crossing were damaged this week.

Signed barriers that temporarily block access to the ford at O’Brees Crossing near Natimuk will undergo costly repairs after they were deliberately chained to a vehicle and ripped out on Wednesday.

Police are investigating the act of vandalism.

To ensure public safety HRCC is obligated to close the ford when the water rises to a level where the sides of the concrete vehicle crossing become indistinguishable for drivers.

The ford was closed on Tuesday, with river levels increasing due to recent rain.

“Someone always knows something when it comes to vandalism, so we are asking residents to contact police if they can help,” Mayor Robyn Gulline said.

“If people feel they need to prove a point, this is certainly not the way to do it.

“It is extremely disappointing to see that there are people in our community who have little regard for public property which results in extra costs for Council and added expense to ratepayers,” she said.

The ford remains closed until the water level drops. Council is monitoring the situation and plans to re-open the crossing as soon as possible.

The gates will be re-installed when repairs are complete.

People with information about the vandalism should contact Natimuk or Horsham police.

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