Stolen plants costing ratepayers
IT'S the theft that has cost Gladstone region ratepayers thousands of dollars this year.
Gladstone Regional Council's attempts to beautify the area is proving too hard to resist for some plant thieves, with about 160 plants being stolen from median strips and roundabouts around the city this year.
The stolen plants have so far cost ratepayers about $8000, and Gladstone Regional Council Parks and Recreation spokesperson Councillor Gail Sellers said the theft had to stop.
Cr Sellers said the plants had been stolen during the course of the past seven beautification projects completed by the council.
While admitting the occasional plant had been lost over the years, Cr Sellers said plant theft had been prevalent this year.
“This theft equates to about an $8000 cost to ratepayers by the time you cover the costs of the plants and the labour involved with the initial planting and replacement of lost stock,” she said.
“When you lose that amount of plants you start to think to yourself, ‘Do we go on?'”
Plant thieves have targeted areas along Philip, Toolooa, Mercury and Whitney streets, plus Glenlyon Road and Chapman Drive.
And with the council about to undertake four additional median strip beautification projects, valued at $40,000 each, Cr Sellers said she was concerned these areas could also be targeted by thieves.
A police spokesperson said that if caught, offenders could be charged with stealing, as it was a criminal offence.
“Not only do they face criminal charges and a fine, but offenders can also be asked to pay costs associated with this offence,” the spokesperson said.
Police and the council are asking anyone with information about the theft of the plants to contact Gladstone Police Station on 49713222.