‘Senseless’ vandals act derails Rattlers season

Brisbane Valley Rattlers AFC club in Fernvale where vandals caused serious damage to the field’s light towers. Picture: JESSE HAMILTON

A brainless act by vandals has derailed the Brisbane Valley Rattlers AFC clubs 2024 season at the dawn of the clubs’ junior season start.

Between 10am on Tuesday, 23 April and 6am on Wednesday, 24 April, vandals cut through electrical cables on several light towers at the ground, cutting off night-time access to the ground for the club’s home games and training.

Brisbane Valley Rattlers AFC president Graham Smith said the act will cost Somerset Regional Council at least $100K to repair and had completely tarnished the good work of hardworking volunteers.

“We don’t know the time frame for repairs, for us as an AFL club it could cost anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000 easy due to the fact we’re going to have to hire somewhere else to train and for home games,” he said.

“We could be out of action for a month, could be three months or longer.

“These vandals have to realise we the committee people and the parents are volunteers, so it’s a volunteer organisation, a small community AFL club.

“We’ve got heartbroken kids at the moment who are absolutely shattered that people could do this.”

Somerset Regional Council Mayor Jason Wendt slammed the incident as a blatant disregard for community.

“Council installed these lights in 2021 to support the operations of the Brisbane Valley Rattlers Australian Rules Football Club and the Marburg Mount Crosby Cricket

Club,” he said.

“This damage is extremely disappointing, it’s disruptive to the community and the reality is the attempted theft has accomplished nothing.

“The vandals have pulled cabling out of the ground, likely seeking copper, but have instead pulled aluminium out of the ground and then abandoned the site.”

Mr Smith said the vandalism had caused a serious safety hazard, making the journey to finding replacement fields difficult.

“It’s not going to be easy because there are no other AFL grounds in the Somerset region,” he said.

“They also broke into the main powerbox as well, so there’s a potential for a bit of danger for the kids, and I don’t want the kids going near the power box.”

“It happened only two rounds in for our seniors and our juniors about to start.”

The damage comes just one week after vandals deliberately damaged the fields at the Lowood Recreation Complex.