Council appeals for vandal help as schoolboy accused of starting fire…
A 14-YEAR-OLD Cranbourne boy has been charged with arson and a 15-year-old from Endeavour Hills arrested in relation to the fire which ripped through the abandoned Endeavour Hills Secondary College gym last year.
The Cranbourne boy, who was arrested in January, appeared in court last week and was bailed to appear again in May.
The Endeavour Hills boy was released without charge.
A person was seen fleeing the fire around 11.30pm on Thursday 20 November at the former high school building, which the City of Casey has a partial stake in.
Fourteen trucks attended the blaze, which took at least an hour to bring under control and a further three hours to extinguish completely.
The charges come as Casey council resolved on Tuesday to write to the State Government in a plea for help to stop rampant vandalism at the derelict school site.
Four Oaks councillor Rafal Kaplon moved a motion on Tuesday night for the City of Casey to write to Education Minister James Merlino expressing its concerns about vandalism at the disused facility.
Cr Kaplon said he had recently visited the school and was shocked by the extreme vandalism and dumped rubbish at the site.
“Every part of the building is accessible and has been vandalised,” he said.
“This is not acceptable.
“It’s grounds for vigilantes and squatters.”
As part of the motion the council will write to Casey police Inspector Paul Breen about its concerns, and Narre Warren North MP Luke Donnellan and Holt MP Anthony Byrne will also be drawn on for support.
“It’s now an eyesore and has to be addressed,” Cr Kaplon said.
His fellow Four Oaks councillor Rosalie Crestani said the vandalism may already equate to “thousands, if not millions of dollars’ worth of damage.”
Low enrolments led to the closure of Endeavour Hills Secondary College in 2012, one of the smallest and oldest high schools in the region.
In July Labor pledged to provide Hallam Senior College’s Sports Academy with partial access to the old campus if it won the state election.