Tree vandals create havoc

Repeated attacks on young trees at Byron Bay are taking their toll on the morale of Byron Council parks staff – and the budget.

Executive manager of community infrastructure Phil Holloway said parks and gardens staff were growing frustrated over repeated attacks on tree plantings in the town centre.

Mr Holloway said juvenile street trees of two to three metres were being bent and twisted until they snapped.

He said in some cases advanced trees were being wrenched from the ground and stolen.

The most recent of these had been a mature grass tree on the Browning Street roundabout and a three-metre tuckeroo from the Lawson Street north carpark, he said.

Said Mr Holloway: “We are losing three trees out of every five planted.

“The acts of vandalism and theft are taking a toll on our budget as well as the morale of parks staff.”

Mr Holloway said the council would appreciate residents reporting any tree vandalism and theft to Byron Police on 6685 9499.

Last week the council adopted a policy on tree and vegetation vandalism.

The objectives of the policy are to:

* Promote the value of and need for protection of trees and vegetation on community land

* Provide consistency in the deterrence, investigation and response to tree vandalism incidents

* Encourage the sharing of experience, expertise and resources among various land management agencies (council, DECCW and NSW Land and Property Management Authority) when deterring and responding to tree/vegetation vandalism incidents throughout Byron Shire

* Promote and guide broader community involvement in the prevention of vandalism, and investigation and enforcement following vandalism incidents.

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