Tree vandalism continues to be an issue across Wollongong, with real costs to individuals, our council and our communities.
Last week there was community outrage at the deliberate and senseless vandalism to the coastal tea trees within Belmore Basin’s heritage precinct. These trees have been cordoned off and will be monitored over the next six weeks in the hope that they will regenerate before any decisions on their future are made.
Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM condoned the vandalism to the unique trees.
“Our community has been outraged by the deliberate and senseless vandalism in Belmore Basin,” he said.
”Council’s Facebook page had thousands of comments on it. Many of the comments reflected upon how generations of young children had clambered up the branches of the beautiful tea trees. There is no question that tree vandalism is a disgraceful act that we need full community support in order to bring these perpetrators to justice. As a community we have the opportunity to take a stance and not accept this destruction. If you see something, say something and report what you’ve seen to Council.”
Following this has week’s harbourside vandalism, MacCabe Park has also been a site of tree vandalism, with the trunks of three young Crepe Myrtle trees destroyed. They had been in the ground under a week.
Targeted tree vandalism has also affected Holborn Park, Berkeley, which has seen repeated vandal attacks. The most recent instance here involved 24 large and established Casuarina trees, part of an Ecologically Endangered Community, which were illegally cut down.
“Vandalised trees need to be replaced and are costly to plant and establish. However, the real costs are immeasurable. Tree vandalism robs future generations of the joys and pleasure that a great tree can provide – a climbing opportunity for children, or a shady space to stop and watch the world go by, or habitat for animals,” Cr Bradbery said.
”Trees are key in a changing climate for not only providing shade but are one of nature’s best ways to capture carbon and prevent it from entering the atmosphere. We need to put a stop to these acts of vandalism and to do this we need to work together as a community. Please, don’t turn a blind eye to vegetation vandalism. Report it to Council or the NSW Police so we can bring the perpetrators to account.”
There are fines in place for those caught damaging trees. Anyone with information on any tree vandalism is encouraged to contact Council or NSW Police.