Tweed residents are being urged to help catch vandals who have cut down trees in two areas of the shire and set fire to a new riverside planting.
Tweed council have revealed that vandals used a chainsaw to cut down two 5-metre tall Weeping Lilli Pillis (Waterhousias) at Col Wiley Park, near Byangum Bridge on the evening of Friday 18 November. They also condemned a third by cutting about 75 per cent through its trunk, forcing it to be removed by Council.
Last week, Council staff working to stabilise the riverbank adjacent to Tweed Valley Way, near Bartletts Road, Tumbulgum, discovered vandals had cut down about 20 river mangroves (Aegiceras corniculatum) and set fire to a new riverside planting of Lomandra in the same area.
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Mayor of Tweed Katie Milne has appealed to the community to help catch the vandals. “Council is committed to going all out to try to find the offenders and we’d like to call on the community to assist us with this process – someone must have heard the chainsaws.
“Trees are not just for amenity, they provide important habitat and act as a buffer to erosion. Riverbank vegetation has a vital role to play along Tweed Valley Way in preventing erosion of this major road, which is costing Council millions in revetment works. We need the community to understand the significance and get on board to provide information to help us catch vegetation vandals.”
Council will grind back the stumps left at Col Willey Park and replace the trees as soon as it can, but it will take years for them to reach a similar height to the ones cut down.
The Lomandra planting, undertaken to complement the rock revetment stabilisation work and planted through jute matting, will need to be re-done adding an extra $1500 to the cost of the job.
Council has also reported the clearing of the mangroves to the Fisheries Department for further action, as all marine vegetation is protected under the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Council on (02) 6670 2400 or email TSC@tweed.nsw.gov.au.