The Sports Complex bus was stolen and trashed … it may now have to be written off (Photo: CASC)
The damaged bus was abandoned by thieves in the local forestry (Photo: CASC)

March 6, 2024

“The system isn’t working!” That’s the message Cherbourg Council CEO Chatur Zala wants to get out after a string of break-ins and vandalism in the community over the past few weeks.

He has reached out to the media in frustration, after almost every major building in Cherbourg has been targeted recently.

Everything from the Cherbourg Radio station and TAFE College to the Gundoo Early Childhood Centre, Cherbourg State School and The Ration Shed have been broken into.

The Council Chambers was hit again on Tuesday night.

Even the Sports Complex bus – wrapped in artwork created by local children and the late Robert “Rocko” Langton – was stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning and trashed.

Sadly, Mr Zala believes the bus may now have to be written off, meaning children who use the bus to get to sporting events will miss out.

He said the perpetrators of some of the incidents had been identified and arrested.

“But they’re just getting out on bail and doing the same thing again,” Mr Zala told

“So that’s why we’re going to the media this time.”

He said the people involved were aged from 14 through to their 20s.

“They’ve broken into almost all the buildings in Cherbourg in the last one or two months,” Mr Zala said.

“We just want the government to listen to us. The system is not working … the bail system, the court system is not helping our community.”

He said the whole Cherbourg community was saying the same thing: “Why are they getting bailed out?”

Mr Zala said most of the children at Cherbourg would good but there were some who kept on reoffending.

“They’re not even stealing any stuff. They’re just breaking in … and messing our buildings,” he said.

“It costs a lot of money to fix.”

Maintenance workers were being diverted away from other jobs in the community to make emergency repairs every morning.

“I think the government needs to look at the whole justice system. It’s not working in the whole State,” Mr Zala said.

“This is not a criticism of the government. We just want a solution.

“This small community is really struggling and we need help.

“If we don’t put this out, nothing is going to change. Every night in the community there’s a break-in. Every night … something has to happen.”

Cherbourg Council corporate services manager Sam Murray and CEO Chatur Zala … feeling frustrated by the continued break-ins and vandalism (Photo: CASC)
LEFT: Police investigate damage at CRAICCHs  RIGHT: Damage at The Ration Shed (Photos: CASC)
Another smashed window for Council staff to repair, plus goods strewn around (Photos: CASC)
Smashed locks create more headaches for workers to repair (Photos: CASC)

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Security camera vision of a break-in at the Council depot during the early hours of Sunday:


2 Responses to "‘The Justice System Isn’t Working’"

  1. I’m gobsmacked at this excuse! Whatever happened to personal responsibility and parenting? Instead, the blame is directed at the government when it has nothing to do with the government.

    A strong community and parenting is the answer.

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