Council welcomes fine for local resident found guilty of vegetation vandalism
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Joanna Gash has welcomed today’s Land and Environment Court decision that has found a Vincentia resident guilty of lopping and injuring two trees on a waterfront Crown Reserve.
The resident received an $8,400 fine after being filmed using hand held shears to cut limbs off parts of two Coastal Banskia trees on an area adjacent to the paved path in front of his property in March 2014.
The man was filmed later on the same evening returning to the Crown Reserve with an electric chainsaw which he used to continue cutting the two large trees.
In handing down the ruling, Justice Pain found that the resident had injured two trees on Crown Land without consent as required by the Shoalhaven Tree Preservation Order and the EPA Act.
Mayor, Joanna Gash said the decision served as an important reminder that Council would prosecute any residents found vandalising the area’s vegetation.
“It is absolutely disgusting to see local residents illegally removing or damaging trees particularly alongside the area’s waterfront reserves and shared path network,” said Clr Gash.
“The destruction of trees in this area not only has a detrimental effect on the surrounding visual amenity but also creates long term environmental issues as well.
“Any damage to the area’s vegetation has a negative flow on effect on local ecosystems as well as damaging the stability of the surrounding dunes.”
“It is particularly pleasing to see the Land and Environment Court handing out large fines for this extremely irresponsible and selfish behaviour.”
“Those that choose to partake in the vandalism of trees on Crown Reserves are not only endangering the area’s ecology but are also displaying scant regard for the safety of people using the area.”
Mayor, Gash said as part of the ruling the defendant had been ordered to pay Council’s costs.