Thieves have targeted a local charity, causing a program for people with disabilities to be shut down.
The Huntlee Academy, a charity which assists local disadvantaged people find work, was burgled on the last weekend of July.
About 20 cubic metres of firewood were stolen from the property.
Earlier this year the Huntlee Academy established a program with the Mai Wel Group for four local people with disabilities which involved participants collecting and splitting firewood onsite at Huntlee.
They bagged and sold the wood to local residents, with proceeds paying for the team’s wages.
As a result of the wood theft, the academy had to terminate the program.
Huntlee Academy project manager Keith Rogers said the incident had caused great distress to the firewood team, who will be transferred to other duties within the organisation.
“It is hard to believe we have people in the community who would steal from a charity to further their own selfish purposes,” Mr Rogers said.
“It really doesn’t get much lower than taking from those in our community who have the least to give. The people employed in this program have been dealt a pretty tough hand in life but continue to strive to improve themselves. To have people literally steal that opportunity from them is incredibly disappointing.”
The Huntlee Academy has posted a $1000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.
“The community has the right to know who these people are,” Mr Rogers said.
Police are investigating the incident.
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