Huge Christmas tree in Katoomba repeatedly vandalised

The huge Christmas tree erected in Carrington Place in Katoomba was repeatedly vandalised and will need extensive repairs.

The KGB (Katoomba Garden Brigade), which put up all the Christmas decorations along Katoomba St, were also the ones, working with the Katoomba Chamber of Commerce and Community, who organised the giant new tree.

"It was bought to try and brighten up the lives of locals and visitors alike at Christmas," said KGB member, Gary Godkin.

"After launching the tree at such a wonderful Christmas event that raised $3,5000 for Blaze Aid, we are so bloody angry to report ... the Christmas tree has been continually attacked since it was installed, to the point where there is so much damage to it, that full repairs may not be possible to restore it to its former state in order to use it again next year.

"Huge holes have been kicked in it or torn in it, large amounts of rubbish and filth have been dropped around it and pushed inside it, lights have been torn off and wires broken.

"Basically it's a bloody disgrace, and a bigger disgrace that we have thugs in this community who continually get away with doing this kind of stuff," Mr Godkin said.

The tree was bought by the chamber and cost nearly $9,000. Lui Friscioni, from Heart of Stone and a member of the KGB, said it was enjoyed at first by small children but it later became the domain of older youths, who spent evenings drinking and trashing the tree.

"It's just appalling," he said. "It beggars belief, the treatment of the tree... The frame under the greenery was kicked, they threw rubbish inside the trees, even dog faeces."

Empty alcohol containers and cigarette butts were strewn around the tree night after night, said Mark Jarvis from the Carrington Hotel.

He said he went to the police station reporting the behaviour three times but he did not see any officers at the site. It would also have helped if council rangers had made an appearance, he said.

"We are delighted to have done something that was so well received. We could see how excited people were ... but the vandalism is just mind boggling.

"It's disappointing the lack of support from the police and council rangers but we're hoping that improves."

Mr Godkin said the gardens and planter barrels tended by the KGB were also frequently vandalised.

"While the vast majority of people are incredibly supportive and grateful, it is so frustrating that no matter what is done in this town to make it a better place, there is always an element who thinks it's great sport to try and destroy it.

"Unfortunately it won't be very long before the people who do so much good in Katoomba have had enough of the continuing mindless vandalism of their hard work and simply give up ... and that will be a very sad day."