Mayor Bob has expressed his frustration about the destruction of a shelter built by his volunteer group in the west Goulburn bushland reserve.
Goulburn's NSW Fire and Rescue brigade was called to the fire, off Slocombe Street, at 11.52pm Sunday to find the structure well alight. The six-metre by three-metre enclosed timber shelter with corrugated iron roof was totally destroyed. The fire was believed to have been deliberately lit.
Cr Kirk said volunteers in the West Goulburn Bushland Reserve Inc group had devoted hours of work and money to the shelter in 2018. It is set in bushland between Slocombe and Ridge Streets.
"I'm disappointed because this was a labour of love by all of us," he said.
"We were trying to make something nice out of the bushland, where people could go and sit and enjoy the birdlife around."
When built, all those who had contributed had their names carved near the roof.
The Mayor, who is also the group's president, said volunteers intended to install bench seats for people and explanatory signage about the native flora and fauna.
The bushland reserve group has been running for about 10 years and has extensively cleaned up the area, opening it up for community visitation.
This has involved removal of 20 tonnes of dumped rubbish and 20 tonnes of non-native vegetation which had been thrown into bushland and had taken hold. Box thorns were cleared, allowing native vegetation to thrive.
The group also erected fencing along Mary Street while the council chipped in with more along Ridge and Loder Streets to secure the area, complete with barriers to prevent vehicle entry.
"We built the shed in a cleared patch thinking it would be a nice place for people to sit and enjoy the natural setting," Cr Kirk said.
"(But) it has been used for other things, like people setting fires in there and dumping rubbish."
The Mayor said as the shelter was on council land, he understood it was covered by insurance
"Let's hope at some point we can rebuild it but do we want to when it gets treated like this?" he said.
"Imagine if that fire had got into the bush and all the people along Slocombe Street were put in peril. That is a concern.
He urged anyone who had further information to report it to police.
Police are investigating the cause.
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