Fraser Coast Regional Council deputy mayor Darren Everard inspects the vandalised war memorial at Freedom Park in Pialba. Photo: Alistair Brightman.
Fraser Coast Regional Council deputy mayor Darren Everard inspects the vandalised war memorial at Freedom Park in Pialba. Photo: Alistair Brightman.

VANDAL SCUM: Veterans reeling after war memorial defiled

FORMER servicemen and women are seeing red after the war memorial in Pialba's Freedom Park was vandalised twice in a matter of days.

White paint was poured over part of the memorial late last week, while the horseman's bayonet was bent some time between Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Hervey Bay RSL Sub-branch president Brian Tidyman said he was disgusted.

"It's shocking to think someone could do this," he said.

Mr Tidyman said sub-branch members were upset that the memorial could be treated with such disregard.

"It's meant to honour and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country's freedom,'' he told the Chronicle.

"This vandalism is an insult to all servicemen and women."

Around $10,000 was recently spent cleaning the statue and safeguarding it from the sea air.

Mr Tidyman hoped CCTV footage from nearby cameras would help identify the culprits so they can be brought to book.

He said the memorial was not just for veterans but the community as a whole.

Mr Tidyman said people can always be seen walking around Freedom Park looking at the memorial and cenotaph and reading the names on the plaques.

"It's important we never forget the sacrifices of our forefathers," he said.

Fraser Coast Regional Council Deputy Mayor Darren Everard described the vandalism as disrespectful.

"It's disappointing that people could do this. The community rallied together to build the memorial," Cr Everard said.

Police confirmed both incidents.

Senior Constable Leigh Nancarrow said officers were investigating two cases of wilful damage.

Witnesses or people with any information that could assist police are being urged to contact the Hervey Bay watchhouse.

* A previously published version of this story said Cr Everard's discretionary fund would be used to repair the damaged bayonet. This was incorrect. The fund was used to repair previous damage caused by vandals. The Chronicle apologises for the mistake.


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