HEARTBREAK: Alexander Alford, Cooper Towns, Kane Pereira, Pam Acevedo-White, Katelyn Becker, Zoe Sears and Isabelle Ashbrooke look over the new playground destroyed by fire last night at Westlawn Public School. Photo Adam Hourigan
HEARTBREAK: Alexander Alford, Cooper Towns, Kane Pereira, Pam Acevedo-White, Katelyn Becker, Zoe Sears and Isabelle Ashbrooke look over the new playground destroyed by fire last night at Westlawn Public School. Photo Adam Hourigan

Child’s play for vandals

WESTLAWN Public School principal Narelle Twigg said it was the disappointment on students' faces when they saw their new playground destroyed that hurt the most.

Staff and students arrived at the school yesterday to find their $110,000 playground, which had been standing less than a year, was targeted by vandals and set alight.

"I am absolutely devastated that there are young people in this community who can see nothing more purposeful to do with their time than destroy something children get so much pleasure from," Mrs Twigg said.

"The kids went straight to it and were just so shocked."

Half of the structure was destroyed, while fire crews managed to save the rest.

Mrs Twigg said the school P&C donated $50,000 to the building of the playground.

"It took years of hard saving and hard work to get to that point," she said.

Grafton fire crews were called to the school just after midnight yesterday only to be called out a second time, to See Park two hours later.

The vandals burnt the playground to the ground including shade sails.

Clarence Valley Council's director for environment, planning and community, Des Schroder, said it was extremely disappointing.

"It's costing ratepayers and they lose the amenity of the playground," Mr Schroder said.

"It doesn't just affect the individual; the biggest issue is that the kids can't use the playground."

Both the council and Westlawn Public School are seeking advice from their insurance agencies.

The Daily Examiner was unable to verify with police yesterday whether vandals had been charged for the offences.



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