Pricey cost of stolen plaques

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
The memorial bench.
Camera IconThe memorial bench.

The City of Rockingham is reviewing the costs involved in replacing memorial plaques stolen from benches along the Safety Bay and Shoalwater foreshore, following criticism from plaque owners who have been hit with a $1500 bill.

Several families were left devastated after about 10 bronze plaques honouring their loved ones were reported stolen from memorial seats between Safety Bay Road and Shelton Street in Waikiki in May this year.

Another seven were also taken from various locations along the Safety Bay and Shoalwater foreshore last month. In response, the City has investigated options to deter the plaques from being targeted by thieves, deciding to instead replace the plaques with an acrylic alternative.

In a letter obtained by the Sound Telegraph, the City advised owners about the acrylic replacement and stated that it would be incumbent on the owners to foot the $1594 bill. But the decision has outraged some owners, including resident Doug Warnock, who questioned the hefty price tag.

“I think it’s outrageous,” he said.

“We paid about $1700 for the bench and the plaque when it was first put there.

“If it was a couple hundred it would be OK, but I can’t see a plastic plaque costing that much.”

Mayor Barry Sammels said the investigation identified that there were limited options available.

“When applying for a memorial plaque or bench, applicants sign an agreement accepting responsibility for repair or replacement, as necessary,” he said.

“The acrylic plaques will not be desirable to thieves who are currently targeting a range of metals from local governments around Perth.”

The City has since confirmed it received several inquiries regarding the matter and is reviewing the costs involved in replacing missing plaques.

The review is expected to be concluded by early November.

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