Vandals target quarry
By RACHEL AFFLICK
BROKEN Head Quarry owner Luke Bracken arrived at work on Monday morning to find vandals had smashed the windows of his bulldozer.
But rather than surprise he felt disappointment: It's the sixth time this year Mr Bracken's equipment has been targeted, and with a damage bill already running into the thousands, this latest attack has left him wondering why.
In the past 12 months alone vandals have smashed the windows of several of Mr Bracken's machines. They also totalled his ride-on-mower and dumped it in a pond.
"They got three windows this time," Mr Bracken said.
"This is a $250,000 machine and it will be out of action for a week.
"I'm just a battler.
"Life hasn't just handed me this company. I've had to work really hard for it."
Mr Bracken bought Broken Head Quarry five years ago. The company extracts sand from the quarry site on the northern end of Broken Head Road, and supplies it to cement companies.
Mr Bracken doesn't know who is vandalising his equipment, but he's worried there's a connection between the attacks and the fact a tunnel his company is building may require trees to be removed from Broken Head Road
Under the development application for the quarry, which was negotiated between the Byron Shire Council and the company's previous owners in 1998, the trees would be removed to make way for the construction of a tunnel linking the northern and southern ends of the quarry.
But Mr Bracken said he was doing everything in his power to prevent the tunnel from going ahead.
"I don't believe the tunnel is%required, given the quarry has%limited life left," he said.
"I'm fighting the situation but it will come down to the State Government. If someone's targeting me over that, I just hope they realise I'm actually trying to stop it."
Byron Bay police inspector Greg Jago said the incident was being investigated and there would be an increased police presence in the quarry area.