Another Capricorn Highway ATM targeted

Alpha's ATM destroyed less than a month after Jericho ATM stolen

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Another small community along the Capricorn Highway has lost its ATM, the second time a money dispenser has been interfered with in the region in less than a month.

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The ATM at Alpha has been completely destroyed by thieves. Picture supplied.

The ATM at Alpha has been completely destroyed by thieves. Picture supplied.

Another small community along the Capricorn Highway has lost its ATM, the second time a money dispenser has been interfered with in the region in less than a month.

The destruction of the ATM at Alpha sometime on Monday night was announced by Barcaldine Regional Council mayor Sean Dillon, who described it as the action of "low-life scum".

Thieves used a power tool to remove an ATM from the verandah of Jericho's post office on the evening or in the early hours of August 21-22.

Cr Dillon said both acts would have a huge impact on the small communities, potentially causing permanent disruption if locals and visitors were unable to access cash.

"With the inability to access cash, people will not be spending in our communities, which will have a detrimental effect on our businesses, who have already been suffering after years of drought and now COVID-19."

He said small businesses in digital technology-challenged communities had limited EFTPOS-related capacity as did community events.

"For people to target their only point of access of cash highlights the disregard to which the criminals target," he said. "As we attempt to recover social interactions post-COVID the need for cash at these community events will increase, placing yet another burden on the shoulders of small business."

Alpha grocery store owner and ex-Barcaldine councillor Russ Glindeman said the council had fought long and hard to get the ATM, due to the lack of cash in the community.

It had been installed around 12 months ago.

"This is the act of a low-life parasite," he said.

The council partnered with a commercial provider to provide the ATMs in both communities and Cr Dillon said they and their banking partners would now need to review the arrangement before deciding whether to replace the machines.

Alpha's historic Rowley Roberts Information Centre, where the ATM was situated, also sustained damaged, as did the veranda of the library, post office and tourist information centre at Jericho in the August theft.

Police were not been available for comment on Tuesday.

If people have any information on either crime, they are asked to contact Policelink on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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