Kids with nowhere to climb after community playground torched

Posted by Admin on 4 March 2011 | 0 Comments


Sunday, 27 February 2011 07:51
Lilydale detectives are appalled at the senseless criminal damage by fire done to a local playground in Montrose on Friday night.

Playground beforeAround 9.30pm on 25 February, unknown offenders set fire to play equipment at Montrose Recreation Reserve on Mount Dandenong Road, Montrose.

The structure has been devastated with the damage bill estimated at $40,000. Materials for the imported structure had been imported from Europe.

The ‘rope net pyramid’ is part of a community–based volunteer project completed at the park in 2009 after locals banded together in order to raise money and build a better place for their children to play.

Donations from businesses and individuals, as well as funding from State and Federal governments and Rotary, helped to raise money for the materials and the site has been a popular destination for energetic youngsters ever since.

Playground afterTheir efforts are now in ruins and Detective Senior Constable Ian Marr was there to see the disappointment on the children’s faces first-hand as they fronted up to their favourite park.

“I really felt for the kids, they got to within 10 metres of the crime scene tape and their faces just sank,” he said.

The giant spider–web–type formation was reduced to a blackened mess and police are appealing for anyone with information on who may have committed this selfish act to come forward.

“It shows a blatant disregard for others in the community as this crime will have an immediate effect on Montrose families,” Det SC Marr said.
“No matter what time of the day you go past there on a weekend, there are always children present using the park.
“I hope that those responsible have a think about what they have done and come forward.”

Over 450 individuals from the community worked more than 1200 shifts to build the playground, which has become an integral part of the Montrose Community.

Anyone who may have information about the fire is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit

For more information on the playground visit

Senior Constable Marty Beveridge
Media Officer