Cut down for the view

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

NA­TIVE trees near the Swan and Can­ning rivers con­tinue to be killed or pruned by river­side res­i­dents in an at­tempt to gain bet­ter views or river ac­cess, ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife.

De­part­ment river­park man­ager Roland Mau said South Perth was a hot spot for van­dal­ism of the river­side trees and there were plans to stop the de­struc­tion.

“Depend­ing on the sever­ity of the case, the cost to com­mu­nity can be more than $8000 for in­ves­ti­ga­tion, signs, re­place­ment and re­me­di­a­tion ev­ery time it hap­pens,” Mr Mau said.

He said un­der leg­is­la­tion, landown­ers did not have rights to views and con­victed van­dals risked a $5000 fine.

Mr Mau said the trees were more valu­able to the rest of the com­mu­nity as they pre­vented ero­sion, pro­vided habi­tats, shaded river­side parks and cooled river­banks by 3C to 5C.

The trees also en­hanced life­styles and the en­vi­ron­ment by pro­vid­ing wind breaks, fil­ter­ing air­borne pol­lu­tion in­clud­ing car fumes, giv­ing homes to na­tive in­sects, birds and other wildlife, and im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity by fil­ter­ing runoff into drains and rivers.

“Trees are of­ten van­dalised af­ter dark, so un­less the public hears saw­ing or chain­saws, de­tec­tion of il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity such as poi­son­ing may not be ap­par­ent un­til af­ter a few days or even weeks,” Mr Mau said.

Mr Mau said tree van­dal­ism and sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity should be re­ported at any time.

A De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife of­fi­cer looks at tree van­dal­ism.

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