Thieves target clubs as times change: BITS' Nev Judd

Jacaranda Drive Oval was among the grounds targeted.
Jacaranda Drive Oval was among the grounds targeted.

BETWEEN 8.30pm and 7am Friday night the Gravely ride on mower used at the BITS Cricket and AFL facilities was stolen.

The mower, worth around $20k, was only four years old and is a vital piece of equipment for the Jacaranda Drive Oval.

During this humid time of the year, club volunteers spend up to 10 hours a week mowing the fields and surrounds that keeps the oval as one of the most picturesque in Central Qld.

The theft is a real disappointment to the club and its 170 members, who now face the prospect of having no further games at their home oval this summer.

The mower is one of the most important items we use at the club and without one now, I really feel for the members of our club and the other Gladstone based teams.

We just had 60 odd kids here last night in the Bulls Masters Future Stars Under 10s playing under lights and I'm not sure we can accommodate games with no mower

This is the second time in 6 months the club has been victim of bad luck as their pitch roller was vandalised beyond repair just before the start of the season, which saw them have to borrow one right up until Xmas before they sourced another.

Thieves target sporting clubs: Four clubs hit overnight
Thieves target sporting clubs: Four clubs hit overnight

Its a real blow to our volunteers who work their hearts out for community sport.

A new mower is around $20k, a new roller about the same.

But you just don't think this will happen in the area, but I guess times have changed these last couple of years.

The mower was bought with a grant from Gladstone Council 4 years ago and although the club will recover from this theft, with the rate the grass grows in the wet season, it will need to be sooner than later.

"We have up to four junior games and two senior games a week and there already is a shortage of fields in the area, so its just another challenge to bounce back from," he said. 

"Worst case is we will have 100 members with push mowers out this week although we have already had offers to help from other local clubs"

In other crime news, a number of gates have gone missing in the area. Police are investigating but are fearing the offenders may take afence