By Rowan Forster
A FESTERING cesspit littered with filth, drug paraphernalia and empty beer bottles has become the eyesore of Pakenham’s CBD.
The Cracker Jackson Memorial Pavilion on John Street has been desecrated by vile cretins to an extent whereby ratepayers fear it will drive down property values.
While the area is also inhabited by law abiding homeless people, it is believed drug users are widely responsible for the area’s disgusting appearance.
The site was up-kept when it was used by the Lions Club – but has rapidly deteriorated since the community group relocated to Cardinia Road.
A local performing arts group subsequently used the hall to practice, but it was marred with chaos.
“The football rooms were, until recently, used by the performing arts company but unfortunately it kept getting broken into and we often had to clean up rubbish and homemade bongs before rehearsals,” the group’s Joanne Arrowsmith said.
“They removed the fence to try to stop it being used as a hangout but it didn’t make a difference.
“There was often equipment being stolen and trashed, but this was before the homeless people used the spot.”
When the Gazette approached the Cracker Jackson Memorial Pavilion, a man claimed that loiterers have inundated the area since CCTV was installed at Ahern Park.
“They’re all from that area, and they get here and get on the piss,” he said.
“It’s nothing to do with homeless people.”
The building, which remains under Cardinia Shire’s ownership, seems to no longer receive attention from the council.
Jim Richardson, who lives a stone-throw from the notorious park, said it has impacted the potential sale of his property.
Mr Richardson has been fielding private enquiries for his three bedroom home, and so far, the Cracker Jackson Memorial Pavilion has been cited as a major concern for a number of prospective buyers.
“Nobody wants to live near something like that,” he said.
“It’s disgusting, and it makes you apprehensive about the type of people who are creating that mess.
“I’m just shocked the council hasn’t done anything – considering they’d be all over you if your nature strip gets too long.”