$20,000 vandalism spree at Camperdown Golf Club spoils region’s quiet start to 2013

VANDALS ran amok at the Camperdown Golf Club on New Year’s Eve, damaging five electric golf carts and wrecking the club’s entrance gates.

However, the incident appeared to be the worst in what was an otherwise quiet New Year’s Eve across the south-west.

Police in most towns across the region commended the behaviour of New Year’s Eve revellers, saying their messages about the ramifications of drink-driving and anti-social behaviour appeared to have got through to the public. 

In the vandalism at Camperdown, club president Darren Frost estimated the damage at close to $20,000, with at least two of the golf carts likely to be write-offs.

Mr Frost believed much of the damage to carts was intentional with one sent careering into a pine tree at the 13th hole a number of times and another pushed into trees outside the golf course and towards Lake Bullen Merri.

A third cart had its canopy snapped off, which Mr Frost said would have required considerable force.

A fourth cart was found about two kilometres from the golf course near the Camperdown Lakes and Craters Holiday Park.

Mr Frost believed the offenders used a large vehicle to ram through metal farm-style gates at the entrance to the club on Sadlers Road, smashing them and an attached bluestone pillar.

The attack is believed to have happened some time between 10.30pm on Monday night and about 7am on Tuesday when the carts were found.

Mr Frost said all the carts were privately owned and each was worth about $4000.

One of the victims, Richard Narik, said he played golf every weekend to rehabilitate himself from injuries he suffered in a vehicle accident.

He said the damage to his cart would limit his enjoyment of golf and was likely to restrict him to playing only nine holes.

Sergeant Sally Slingsby, of Camperdown police, said the vandals broke into a storage shed at the golf course to get to the carts which had keys in them.

She asked anyone with any information about the attack to contact police.

Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh, of Warrnambool police, said the behaviour of the public in the city had generally been “great”. 

He said there had been three arrests in Warrnambool for drunk and disorderly conduct on New Year’s Eve. 

There had also been two incidents of domestic violence with one woman admitted to hospital for treatment. 

One person had been charged for driving with more than twice the legal amount of alcohol in their blood. 

Sixteen penalty notices had also been issued for underage drinking and having an open container of alcohol in an alcohol-free area. 

Senior Sergeant Keogh said the 1.30am lockout by Warrnambool entertainment venues, where patrons cannot re-enter a venue if they leave it after 1.30am, appeared to be helping reduce anti-social behaviour on the streets. 

At Port Fairy, where more than 5000 people gathered to enjoy the Moyneyana Festival street parade, police said the crowd was “relatively well behaved”.

Leading Senior Constable Glenn McDuff, of Port Fairy police, said one male juvenile had been arrested for a minor assault in Sackville Street and 14 penalty notices issued for having an open container of alcohol in an alcohol-free zone and underage drinking.

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