Every year Bathurst’s ratepayers have to put their hands in their pockets to pay for the actions of a selfish few who vandalise the city.

The majority of our residents take great pride in making sure our beautiful heritage city is clean and well cared for, but then there are those who go out of their way to destroy other people’s property.

Over the years we have heard about mailboxes blown up or knocked down, the windows of businesses being smashed, cars being stolen and burned out, graffiti just about everywhere, and cars spray painted or dented.

However, council is not immune either.

Bathurst Regional Council has had to put aside just over $90,000 in its 2016/2017 budget to pay for repair works that become necessary when vandals strike.

Picnic shelters, toilet blocks, playground equipment and sporting facilities all get battered and broken by vandals each year, and repairing them is costly.

Trees in the city’s park also fall victim to vandals, so do plants that are often pulled out and left to die.

Perhaps the worst thing is that it is all so pointless – damaging property, just for the sake of it.

There have been calls for closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras as a way of, if not curtailing these activities, at least identifying the perpetrators after the act.

However, wouldn’t it be great if there were education programs available to change destructive behaviours before the tendency to smash and destroy gets even further out of hand. Perhaps there are? Surely we must try everything we can to generate pride in members of our community.

After all, so much money is spent each year on cleaning up after vandals.

As deputy mayor Ian North points out, think of what that money could buy if it was insteadfunnelled into community projects.

If council didn’t have to worry about such an enormous damage bill the funds could definitely be used to do some good.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.