Man took logs used to stabilise dunes Belinda Cipriano
A MAN who illegally removed materials from nature rehabilitation projects at CY O’Connor Beach last winter has been found guilty and ordered to pay $500 and $3500 of the City of Cockburn’s legal costs.
The man was photographed in June by a visitor to the area who saw the former loading a wheelbarrow with logs that were being used to stabilise dunes in the reserve. The man was later seen transferring the logs to his ute.
The evidence was provided to the City which then tracked down the man and issued him an $80 fine, which he refused to pay, arguing he was legitimately collecting firewood.
The man appeared at Fremantle Magistrate’s Court on January 24 for non-payment of the fine and found guilty of removing the timber without permission under Section 3.4 (b) of the City of Cockburn Local Law.
Cockburn environmental manager Chris Beaton said matting, timber and brush recycled from Council gardening activities were regularly used at the reserve to stabilise erosion caused by human activity and coastal weather processes.
“Dead wood is a valuable habitat for coastal species from insects to reptiles, birds, marsupials and mammals,” he said.
“It also breaks down in the soil, providing vital nutrients. The layering of timber and brush also prevents further erosion by discouraging people from walking through the dunes.
“The brushing material is made up of branches from tree prunings to trap sand particles and seeds dropped from local plant species, also contributing to dune stabilisation.
“Brushing is effective because it lies slightly proud of the surface, creating a shaded microclimate where seedlings are protected from the sun and wind.
“The City is thankful to people who care about their community and the local environment enough to let us know if they see something that doesn’t look quite right.”
Suspicious activities should be reported to the City on 9411 3444 or CoSafe on 1800 267 233.
Recycled matting, timber and brush are regularly used at the reserve to stabilise erosion.