Man took logs used to sta­bilise dunes Belinda Cipri­ano

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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