Car dealer calls for action against vandals
By SALLY GORDON
DESTRUCTIVE and continued vandalism over the past two years has left a Grafton car dealership out of pocket by $20,000, the Clarence Valley Council heard yesterday.
Black Toyota general manager Daniel Scott told the council meeting that his business had been forced to employ an on-site security guard over the weekend to ward off would-be vandals and unwanted repair bills.
Mr Scott implored Clarence Valley Councillors to take immediate steps to curb the vandalism that's costing valley businesses thousands of dollars.
"I'm here today to ask the council to take some action ... and put in place some common sense systems or programs that will help to reduce vandalism in Grafton, Maclean and Yamba while we look at the bigger picture," Mr Scott said.
The businessman told council that Black Toyota, located on Prince Street, had paid $1000 per month for a 'static' security guard over January and December.
"This has enabled us to avoid any more vandalism ... the cost is a good investment," he said.
Despite the additional night-time security measures, Mr Scott said reports from their security guard of alleged vandalism and 'scary' street violence continued.
"There was an incident in Market Square where he (security guard) had to go to the aid of a young lady who was being bashed in a bus stop," alleged Mr Scott.
"On two or three occasions he was involved in group brawls of 20 or 30 people and on at least one occasion he called for police backup.
"There also was an incident where some youths dragged steel fencing from the Aldi store across the street where there could have been a huge accident."
At the conclusion of Mr Scott's speech, all nine councillors nodded in unanimous agreement.
Mayor Ian Tiley invited Mr Scott to join him in a meeting with local police and council in the near future.