RSL outraged over tree plan
A regional RSL is pushing to have charges laid against the Snowy Monaro Regional Council for allegedly damaging the town’s memorial park with paint.
Forty-six cypress trees stand in the Snowy Mountains town of Berridale as a living memory of each of the district's soldiers who fought in WW1, including 16 who never returned.
The Snowy Monaro Regional Council has reportedly spray-painted seven of the trees in preparation to remove them for flood mitigation. However, community opposition has forced the operation to a halt.
“I was speechless and flabbergasted when I saw what damage had been done,” Berridale RSL sub-branch junior vice president Mark Davis said.
“Everyone I've spoken to has had the same reaction.”
“It's a despicable act… it's un-Australian.”
New South Wales considers it criminal offence to damage or disrespect a protected place such as a war memorial.
The RSL reported the act as desecration to police, but police will not be investigating further.
“No charges are expected to be laid,” a police spokesperson said.
The sub-branch will discuss its next steps at a meeting this week ahead of Remembrance Day.
“It's not a thing that's easily washed away,” Mr Davis said.
“I wish it could be, but the damage is done now and people need to own up to that damage and be accountable.”