Weeks after the Gardiner’s Creek Trail, that winds through the eastern suburbs of Burwood and Ashwood in Melbourne, reopened after major upgrades, local residents were shocked to see that the freshly resurfaced path was vandalised with Nazi swastikas and anti-gay messages last week.
The trail was defaced with swastikas and the words “Kill Gays” etched into the trail path. Following concerns raised by Victoria-based LGBTQI+ Jewish advocacy group Aleph Melbourne, the City of Monash said that they had covered the swastikas with yellow plates. Aleph Melbourne said that the words “Kill Gays” were still visible.
“Aleph Melbourne condemns the senseless defacement and vandalisation of the freshly resurfaced Gardiners Creek Trail in Ashwood, ” said co-convenor Michael Barnett.
According to Barnett, the defacemenet of the trail was a “chilling attack” not only on the Jewish and gay community, but also all minority groups.
“It is unfortunate that a small number of people feel so insecure with themselves that they are drawn to destroy public property and peddle fear. Sadly further public money will be required to erase this vandalism, which could have been put to better use,” added Barnett.
This is not the first time that anonymous vandals have targetted public spaces and property with homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti. In May 2020, Swastikas and homophobic graffiti were sprayed on to the green at the Cranbourne Golf Club in Melbourne. Victoria Police had launched an investigation following the incident.