More than 100 roses have been stolen from the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Maryborough.
Fraser Coast Regional Councillor, Daniel Sanderson said the theft was deeply disappointing and frustrating and came at a time when the roses were in their prime.
“The Elizabeth Park Rose Garden has a history dating back more than a century, firstly as the site of Maryborough’s official second cemetery before it became a public park,” he said.
“The stunning displays of colours and fragrances are a drawcard for many residents and visitors. The theft of roses from the park is not just a loss of property; it’s a loss for our entire community.”
Cr Sanderson said Council was investigating options to increase security around the gardens such as additional patrols and CCTV.
“The thefts have occurred at night over the past few weeks and we believe the thieves may have taken the roses to sell as cut flowers due to the volume taken,” he said.
“The thieves have ripped the roses from the plants rather than carefully cut them with clean, sanitised equipment.
“This impacts the plants’ growth and makes them more prone to pests and diseases. Many of the plants may never recover from this damaging theft.
“We are appealing to the public to help us nip this in the bud. We encourage anyone with information about the thefts to contact Council.”
Cr Sanderson said replacing the plants would be costly and couldn’t occur until the rose varieties were in season.
“There is a noticeable difference to the look of the gardens due to the considerable number of flowers missing and empty gaps in the garden beds,” he said.
“Council makes regular donations to the Maryborough Neighbourhood Centre’s ‘Blooming Kindness Project’, which distributes roses to nursing homes to put a smile on the residents’ faces, and the thefts may impact our ability to support this wonderful initiative properly.
“The Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens is one of the most beautiful locations in Maryborough and Council will do everything we can to restore it to its former glory.”