Lake Illawarra Little Athletic Club's frustration mounts

THE Lake Illawarra Little Athletics Club has called for council to amp up its safety measures to stop the continual break-ins at the club canteen.

Since May the athletics club canteen has been broken into five times, three times goods were stolen. The adjoining AFL club canteen has also been stolen from twice.  

The club expressed anger and frustration with Shellharbour City Council for “passing the buck” in response to its pleas to fit CCTV cameras and alarm systems on the premises.  The athletics committee meet with Shellharbour City Council in May and again on Monday, June 16 to discuss their concerns about the break-ins.

At the June meeting, the council confirmed they would replace the roller doors but said they were not aware of the club’s requests for CCTV and alarms. 

Lake Illawarra Little Athletics Registrar Kevin McGarry said the “proof is in the pudding” that the repair jobs weren’t working to fix the overall problem.

“Despite the council securing the facility each time, it’s clearly not working,” Mr McGarry said.

“It’s getting beyond a joke, we’re at the stage where we can’t keep anything in the canteen.

 “We told council at the May meeting about fitting CCTV cameras and alarm systems. If we had the cameras installed, then together with the police we can catch them red-handed and possibly scare them off entirely.”

Mr McGarry said although the council said they would replace the damaged roller doors, the club was given no definite timeframe as to when the repairs would take place.

“We are just annoyed that no time frame has been fixed and the real problem hasn’t been addressed,” he said. “We’re a small non-for-profit community group and we don’t have the funds to battle this all the time.

 “We pay $1000 annually to lease that facility and we’re not happy that nothing is getting done.”

A council spokesperson said: “a number of measures are used to maintain the security of all of council’s assets, facilities and public amenities across the city that includes lighting, enforced security doors and windows, passive surveillance and alarms.”

“New security doors have been ordered for Myimbarr canteen facilities in response to the unprecedented number of break-ins experienced at the location in recent months.

“A security company has been contracted to monitor the site until the doors are installed."

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