TROUBLE-making on Wodonga’s “Hoon Hill” involving rampant vandalism and gunshots, has forced the city council to mount a crackdown.
The lookouts, picnic area and toilets at the summit of the landmark Huon Hill have been regularly hit with graffiti attacks and property damage.
There are bullet holes in the doors of the disabled and women’s toilets.
One of the lookouts has had its wire fence ripped out, while a graffiti tag covers part of the plaque then-mayor John Watson unveiled at the lookout’s launch in October 2003.
The vandals have marked out their territory with the words “Hoon Hill” on the side of a screen.
The council’s business services director, Trevor Ierino, yesterday said thousands of dollars was being spent each year on repairs and monitoring of the hill would increase.
“It’s mindless stuff that goes on,” Mr Ierino said.
“We’ll increase patrols, look to do more surveillance and we’ll be talking to the police.
“We’re frustrated. We call on the public to report suspicious activity and anti-social behaviour to the police.”
Yet Mr Ierino ruled out closing off the hill at night to thwart the vandals.
A closure would require a gate being installed at the start of the 3.8 kilometre dirt and bitumen road to the peak.
“It would be a last resort, people don’t want that,” Mr Ierino said.
“We’re not considering a closure — not at this stage.”
Mr Ierino said tackling vandalism and yobbo behaviour at Huon Hill was tough because it was so secluded.
“It’s isolated, especially after picnickers and sightseers have gone home,” Mr Ierino said.
“Those who are up there after that time can cause a bit of mischief.
“It’s a great natural lookout and much-loved by Wodonga residents.
“Our difficulty is a lot of vandalism that goes on up there.”
The council, Parklands Albury-Wodonga and Wodonga’s three Rotary clubs developed the hill’s lookouts about a decade ago.
When the site opened in 2003, it was estimated 50,000 people would visit it each year.