A public meeting will be held on Wednesday to discuss ways to address anti-social and criminal behaviour in Rathmines Park.
Locals have long been concerned about the worrying trend of hoons gathering in and around the park, and of increased vandalism in the lakeside town.
Those concerns peaked in July when the $50,000 playground in the park was destroyed by fire.
Ross Wylde-Browne of Rathmines Area Sustainability Group said the arson attack hadn’t been the start of the trouble, nor the end of it.
“There is a lot of concern within the local community at the anti-social behaviour occurring within the park,” Mr Wylde-Brown said.
Hoons performing doughnuts and burnouts have been a worry.
“This has been happening along the streets and on the concrete at the boat ramp area, with residents being woken at all hours of the night,” he said.
“Rubbish bins and other infrastructure is also being burnt.”
Mr Wylde-Brown said the mounting concerns had been the catalyst for the public meeting, to be held at Catalina Function Centre, on Dorrington Road, on Wednesday, November 22, at 3.30pm.
“Tony Ellitt, [Lake Macquarie City] Council’s community planner for youth and safer communities, and the police crime prevention officer, Senior Constable Sharm Whitehead, will be present to discuss these issues and advise us about what action can be taken to make Rathmines a safer place,” he said.
Some locals told the Lakes Mail two factors had contributed to more unruly behaviour in the town.
The first was the prolonged closures of Rathmines Community Hall and 1st Rathmines Scout Hall due to asbestos remediation works. (The scout hall has since reopened.)
The second factor was council’s crackdown on campervan occupants enjoying overnight stays in the park, they said.
The public is welcome to attend the meeting.