Security tightened

STONEY Range Pony Club president George Gibson is hoping that fencing around the Albion Park clubhouse will finally give the club respite from years of senseless vandalism.

During his four years as club president, Mr Gibson has become increasingly frustrated with break-ins and graffiti damage at the clubhouse.

He approached Shellharbour City councillor Paul Rankin to see what could be done.

"Initially, we applied for a grant and had talks with council officers and Paul," Mr Gibson said.

"We are over the moon with the progress to date.

"It has taken us around six months to get to this stage where we have the posts in and it is almost ready to have the fencing put up, with extra gates provided to help make access easier."

The club boasts a healthy membership of more than 60 riders and Mr Gibson said the larger numbers of young members meant more helpers.

"The club is in a very healthy position, but it is frustrating to see the silly vandalism that goes on," he said.

"Being in an isolated area means kids think it's a free crack at breaking in and plastering graffiti, and that's disappointing.

"We have installed sensor alarms in the clubhouse and I can't tell you the number of times I have caught kids in the act.

"I suppose one of the bonuses is that once the fencing is up and they manage to get in, it will be harder for them to get out."

Cr Rankin, who has led the charge to have the fencing erected, praised the council for the support.

"An approach was made to the state government, but they knocked us back, so [the] council has undertaken to fund the complete project and we hope to have the work done this side of Christmas," Cr Rankin said.

"[The] council has a lot of the fencing lying around at the depot from a job which hadn't proceeded and we have engaged sub contractors to do the work."

Mr Gibson said once the fencing was done, the club hoped to arrange to have other vandalism fixed.

"We have work to do on the eaves and roof where kids have tried to break in, but once the fence is there, we will get started," he said.

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