Vandals have set back a $1.6 million construction project in Mount Isa by as much as three months.
Mayor Joyce McCulloch slammed the ‘irresponsible and thoughtless actions’ of individuals who had caused an estimated $150,000 worth of damage to the Pamela St Hill reservoir over the weekend.
Offenders threw many heavy rocks at the reservoir, causing significant damage to at least 18 panels, and vandalised several other panels with mastic adhesive.
“This vandalism is extremely disappointing and heart-breaking to see, and the fact that, in the worst-case scenario it will cost up to $150,000 to repair, and also substantially delay a project that was just a few weeks away from completion, compounds the senselessness of these people’s actions,” Cr McCulloch said.
“Some of those damaged panels were at the bottom of the reservoir structure and will therefore likely need to be replaced, due to structural-integrity issues.
“The replacement panels will have to be specially manufactured in the UK and shipped over, before being sent by road from Brisbane, so it would be at least a two-month delay, if not longer.”
Workers arrived on Monday morning to find an on-site crane also broken into and damaged and several items stolen from it.
Contractors will need to carry out non-destructive testing on the
6.8-million-litre reservoir to ascertain what the level of damage is.
Reliant Solutions are principal contractors for the $1.6 million project, which is equally funded by the council and the State Government.
The reservoir is almost 10m high, 33m across and more than 100m in circumference.
Its 230 glass-infused steel panels were prefabricated in the UK and transported to Mount Isa via Melbourne.