Reward offered for information

Tom Hamilton surveys the damage to his property on the Pyrenees Highway last week. Picture: PETER PICKERING
Tom Hamilton surveys the damage to his property on the Pyrenees Highway last week. Picture: PETER PICKERING

ARARAT - Tom Hamilton felt sick to his stomach after surveying the damage caused to his property a few kilometres from Ararat.

The disturbing act of vandalism has prompted Mr Hamilton to offer a $3000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the offenders.

Vandals wreaked havoc on his property, eight kilometres from Ararat off the Pyrenees Highway.

The offenders attacked a shed and shipping container used by the extended Hamilton family as a weekender, causing between $10,000 and $15,000 damage.

Threatening slogans have been sprayed across the exterior and interior of the sheds, relating to wind farms, and equipment has been smashed both inside and outside the buildings.

A generator, chainsaw, quad bike and Honda inverter have all been completely destroyed, while water tanks, a hot water cylinder, power cords, water pipes and pumps have all been rendered useless, in what Mr Hamilton describes as a senseless act of vandalism.

Inside the buildings, furniture and personal property has also been destroyed.

"They've trashed everything, I can't believe what's happened," a distraught Mr Hamilton said on Friday.

"It will cost $10,000 to $15,000 to replace every thing. I don't know how much we're covered for with insurance - it's just senseless stuff."

The family enjoyed Easter at the block - a 300 acre property - and Mr Hamilton said one of his sons was there last Tuesday.

Police believe the vandalism occurred sometime between then and 10am on Thursday.

Many of the slogans sprayed on the walls are threats, warning the Hamiltons not to install a wind turbine on the property.

Mr Hamilton said they had been approached by a wind farm company about five years ago seeking their interest in having one turbine placed on the property as part of an overall wind farm development in the area.

"But that was five years ago and we haven't heard anything more since," he said.

"I'd just forgotten about it."

Mr Hamilton can't understand why anyone would carry out such a violent act.

"My guts have been churning all day. We've put a lot of hard work into this place over the years," he said.

"They mustn't have anything better to do with their life."

Ararat Criminal Investigation Unit is currently investigating the damage and anyone with information can contact Detective Sergeant Guy Menhennitt at Ararat CIU, phone 5355 1500.