Call to report tree vandalism
MOSMAN Park, North Fremantle, Shelley, Alfred Cove and the upper Swan River remain hot spots for vandalism of the public’s riverside trees, and the Department of Parks and Wildlife wants to put a stop to it.
“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,” Parks and Wildlife riverpark manager Roland Mau said.
Native trees near the Swan and Canning rivers continue to be killed or pruned through riverside residents’ attempts to gain better views or river access.
But WA legislation says landowners do not have rights to views and convicted vandals risk 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 enhance lifestyles and the environment by providing wind breaks, filtering airborne pollution including car fumes, giving homes to native insects, birds and other wildlife.
It also improves 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.
The Parks and Wildlife signs that alert the public to sites of major tree vandalism are said to deter more damage while they are on the river banks for up to two years.
It is claimed the signs have led to a 70 per cent decrease in tree vandalism since they were introduced in 2007.
Mr Mau said tree vandalism and suspicious activity should be reported at any time, and while any report would be confidential, a recording of the damage was vital.
A Department of Parks and Wildlife officer looks at tree vandalism, which destroys the rivers and banks for everyone.