Windows were smashed in the building. Photo: Elesa KurtzGovernment staff are bracing for more vandalism in the wake of two incidents this week protesting the kangaroo cull.
Territory and Municipal Services media manager Geoff Virtue said no incidents of vandalism were reported on Wednesday, though staff members expected further property to be damaged in coming weeks.
”It’s guaranteed we’ll get more vandalism before the cull is over,” he said.
”We’ve had a history of it during previous culls and it wouldn’t surprise me at all.”
Animal activists broke through fences at the Parks and Conservation depot overnight on Monday to slash the tyres and smash windscreens of 10 government vehicles, before damaging the building itself and leaving a note declaring their opposition to the kangaroo cull.
The vandalism came after 18 sections of wire were cut open at the Jerrabomberra Grassland West Nature Reserve at the weekend, one of the planned locations for the kangaroo cull.
Mr Virtue said the vandalism significantly disrupted operations as staff attention was diverted to amending the vandalism at the depot.
Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said the “senseless act of vandalism” was disappointing.
“It’s not a protest against the cull. All it’s done is destroy government property and it will have no impact on whether the cull takes place or not,” he said.
“This all costs the government and it’s an unfortunate additional expense that is borne by the Canberra taxpayer.”
Meanwhile, the community legal centre that represented Animal Liberation ACT’s unsuccessful challenge of the kangaroo cull in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal has declined to condemn the vandalism at the Parks and Conservation depot on Tuesday.
An Animal Defenders Office spokeswoman said the legal centre “promotes the use of law to protect animals” and “encourages members of the community who wish to protect animals to pursue legal avenues of challenge”.
The spokeswoman said the non-profit organisation had no knowledge of who carried out the vandalism, which included the graffiti anarchist symbol on at least one government vehicle.
“Regarding the instances of property damage you refer to, we are not aware of any evidence linking the damage to any particular groups or individuals,” she said.
“Any conclusions regarding the damage should wait until police investigations into the matter are complete.”
The spokeswoman said she was disappointed that the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal had approved the cull despite evidence of serious animal welfare concerns, including the livelihood of young joeys.
”The tribunal admitted that as a small jurisdiction, the ACT should accept lower standards in terms of the administrative checks and balances in place to ensure the integrity of the culls,” she said.
”The Animal Defenders Office maintains, however, that the size of the jurisdiction should not affect government decision-making standards in sensitive matters such as deciding whether or not to kill thousands of healthy wild animals on public land.”
The Civil and Administrative Tribunal rejected Animal Liberation’s appeal and found the government’s kangaroo cull had a ”solid scientific basis”.
Animal Liberation ACT spokeswoman Carolyn Drew declined to condemn the vandalism when asked on Tuesday but said she had no knowledge of the event and maintained the group’s adherence to a philosophy of non-violence.
An ACT Policing spokesman said on Wednesday afternoon that the vandalism was still being investigated.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.