LOOKING AHEAD: Clarence Valley Council?s George Nowak at the site of the proposed Corcoran Park night closure in Grafton.
LOOKING AHEAD: Clarence Valley Council?s George Nowak at the site of the proposed Corcoran Park night closure in Grafton.

Gloom ? park curfew looms

By EMMA CORNFORD

ecornford@dailyexaminer.com.au

AUTHORITIES want to crack down on vandalism at Grafton's Corocoran Park and may declare it off-limits at night.

Clarence Valley Council has foreshadowed closure in the wake of an increasing bill for repairs to vandalism.

The council spends up to $15,000 annually on repairs, and called for public input into a plan to ban access to the park from 9pm until 6am.

Council open spaces co-ordinator George Nowak said there had been several objections to the proposal, but overall people were aware that council had to act and clamp down on anti-social behaviour.

"We had 20-30 submissions ... and the majority favoured option-A, which proposes to close the park at Kirchner Street where it crosses the levee wall," Mr Nowak said.

The other option was to set up a gate in the park at the entrance to a newer section.

"What surprised me was that the professional fishers found that option-A would suit them better ... because a number of them have had gear stolen during the night, so it would afford them some amount of security," he said.

Vandalism at the park over the past four years has included panels being stripped off pedes- trian bridges, damage to toilets, smashed lights and electrical wiring ripped from poles.

"It's been a very costly exercise to have the park maintained at a level that ratepayers expect ... so we considered the option of locking the park up at night," Mr Nowak said.

"Several councils down the coast have done this, including Coffs Harbour, and it's been suc- cessful for them."

Mr Nowak said it would cost around $10,000 to secure the park and the issue was likely to be put to council at the March meeting.



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