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Call for information to help police unearth turf thieves

Council is appealing to the public for information that may help police nab the thieves responsible for a spate of thefts at Noosa Botanic Gardens.

In late June thieves stole freshly laid turf from the new children’s play area.

“The plan was to open the play area for the Festival of Water but no sooner had the turf been laid, half of it was stolen,” Parks and Natural Areas Coordinator Sara Cooke said.

“If that wasn’t bad enough, thieves struck again the following week, pillaging even more turf.”

Last year thieves made off with thousands of dollars’ worth of plants from the gardens, including orchids donated and cared for by the Orchid Society volunteers.

“This is appalling behaviour, it’s theft from the community and the removal of the turf not only resulted in financial cost, it delayed the opening of the new play area, disappointing countless local children and their parents,” Ms Cooke said.

More than 70,000 people visit Noosa Botanic Gardens annually. The gardens are cared for by hard-working volunteers and staff.

“This vandalism is disheartening for our volunteers who invest many hours each week beautifying the facility, not to mention the hundreds of people who visit the gardens each week.”

It’s believed the first lot of turf was stolen between 6.30am Monday, June 19 and 6.30am Tuesday, June 20.

Thieves lifted a second lot of turf between 6.30am Monday, June 26 and 6.30am Tuesday, June 27.

“It would be a shame if Council had to limit the use of the gardens out of hours because of the poor behaviour of a few individuals, but it’s something we may have to consider if the thefts continue,” Ms Cooke said.

Ms Cooke urged anyone who may have witnessed the thefts or noticed any suspicious activity in or around Noosa Botanic Gardens to contact police.

11 July 2017