Poi­soner could be hit with big fine

The Weekend Post - - News - DANIEL BATE­MAN daniel.bate­[email protected]

THE per­son re­spon­si­ble for il­le­gally poi­son­ing beach al­mond trees at Trin­ity Beach could be fac­ing a fine of more than $2500.

Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil work­ers yes­ter­day chopped down the three trees on the beach­front at the south­ern end of Vasey Es­planade, each es­ti­mated to be at least 75 years old.

The coun­cil has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to find out who is re­spon­si­ble for the veg­e­ta­tion van­dal­ism, with the poi­son­ing be­lieved to have oc­curred in Novem­ber.

It is un­der­stood a per­son has given in­for­ma­tion to the coun­cil after read­ing about the dam­age to the beach­front in the Cairns Post.

A coun­cil spokes­woman, how­ever, could not com­ment on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

She could only say that un­der the coun­cil’s Lo­cal Law, the il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity car­ried a fine of $2611, which could be is­sued with­out pros­e­cu­tion.

Trin­ity Beach res­i­dents say the trees helped pro­vide a buf­fer against the wind and pre­vented beach ero­sion.

A large ban­ner stretched be­tween the dy­ing trees ask­ing “who killed the beach al­monds?” was al­legedly re- moved by a neigh­bour.

Divi­sion 9 Coun­cil­lor Brett Olds has sug­gested a bill­board to shame those re­spon­si­ble.

It is es­ti­mated the re­place­ment beach al­monds could take at least a decade to grow to ma­tu­rity.

Beach al­monds (Ter­mi­na­lia cat­appa) grow on sandy shores across the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion and are a man­grove-as­so­ci­ated species.

The colour­ful trees pro­vide shade dur­ing sum­mer and their fruit is ed­i­ble — tast­ing slightly acidic, like al­monds.

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