House debates

Monday, 18 June 2007

Statements by Members

Vandalism Tourism

1:45 pm

Photo of Martin FergusonMartin Ferguson (Batman, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Transport, Roads and Tourism) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise this afternoon to talk about the appalling issue of vandalism tourism. As the shadow minister for tourism, I have become aware of some small groups recently travelling interstate with the explicit intention of vandalising property—in this instance, public property. One such incident occurred in early June 2007 on the Epping train line, which runs directly through my electorate. Two men were caught breaking into the train depot with bolt cutters and spraying the side of a train. The offenders travelled interstate with others from Queensland and New South Wales with the purpose of defacing the trains, which are public property. Some cameras and other photographic equipment were also confiscated from the men. I am aware that such acts are digitally recorded and posted on the internet for other people to view. As the shadow minister for tourism, I am dismayed by these activities. I do not in any way condone interstate travel for the purpose of deliberately destroying property. It is not vandalism tourism; it is just plain vandalism. These people should face the full brunt of the law. They are destroying public property and taking taxpayers’ money away from other activities, including improving education, health, access to child care, public transport and a range of other greater priorities. The House should stand firm in opposing this so-called vandalism tourism. (Time expired)