Wharton Vandalism Disgrace

Published on Tuesday, 29 August 2023 at 3:20:00 PM

A deliberate act of vandalism was discovered at Wharton Beach last weekend. Fencing installed to protect recently planted vegetation was cut, destroyed and then used to ruin visitor information signage. The native seedlings and shrubs, planted by students, parents and teachers from Condingup Primary School and Wongutha CAPS, were driven over and destroyed, and the public shade area was damaged.

The estimated damage cost to the ratepayer is expected to be approximately $20,000.

The Shire of Esperance is offering a reward of $1,000 to anyone who comes forward with information about this incident that leads to a successful conviction of wilfully damaging Council property1. Please contact the Esperance Police on (08) 9079 8999 if you have any information.

‘Disappointed’ is an understatement, for Shire staff, school students and groups that worked on this project. Your Shire of Esperance puts hours of planning into ways to protect our beautiful coastline, actively allowing and growing recreational use. Much of this work is done collaboratively with local schools and groups.

The Wharton Beach Rejuvenation Project aims to revegetate sand dunes and parts of the coast damaged by four-wheel-drive owners. Once established this will generate coastline resilience to the effects of erosion caused by the winter swells.

We want to state clearly:

  • these works do not block access to Wharton Beach or Victoria Harbour
  • recreational activities like four-wheel driving and fishing can still take place around these works
  • all vandalism is unacceptable

This event follows similar vandalism over the last three years to coastal protection works completed under Coastwest funding by the Shire, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Esperance Tjaltjraak Rangers in Victoria Harbour at Cape LeGrand National Park, and Tjaltjraak Boodja Park.

The fencing, signage, seedlings and shrubs destroyed by this vandalism belonged to our community. The Shire looks after these areas and the future of these areas for you, the community. This destruction hurts us all.

The Shire is here to manage and plan for the future use of all our facilities and beaches for today and the next generation; we’re in this together and we can do better than this.

Wartonbeach vandalism

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Council Policy EXE 017: Vandalism Reward

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