Thursday, April 8, 2021
Hampton foreshore is the latest hotspot for tree vandalism in Bayside
Council is investigating recent acts of vandalism on the Hampton Bay Trail path that has destroyed approximately 120 metres X 20 metres patch of vegetation, killing approximately 26 trees.
It is believed the area has been poisoned with a type of herbicide over many months. Many of the trees have had holes drilled in their trunks with the poison put inside which is causing dieback, a type of water mould to grow (similar to fungus). The herbicide destroys the vascular system of a tree, killing the tree by stopping the fluids from going back and forth. As well as this, a number of trees have been cut at the base of the trunks and branches have been pruned off the tops of trees.
Council is undertaking soil testing to determine the type and origin of herbicide used to assist Council with ongoing investigations.
As well as playing a vital role in providing habitat for small native birds and reptiles, coastal vegetation assists in cliff stabilisation in an area of the coast prone to erosion. The destruction of this vegetation may lead to increased erosion impacts at this site.
We will continue to monitor this area and revegetation will be undertaken a later date.
The plant species affected: Allocasuarina verticillata, Leptospermum laevigatum, Myoporum insulare, Eucalyptus pryoriana, Acacia sophorae, Rhagodia candolleana spp. candolleana and Tetragonia tetragonioides.
We need your help
Council offers up to $25,000 reward for information leading to a successful prosecution. If you have witnessed tree damage please contact Council’s Investigation team on 9599 4681 or complete this form.
This area is located in an area of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Sensitivity, which also has the protection of the Bayside Planning Scheme Vegetation Protection Overlay (VP01) and the Environmental Erosion Overlay (ESO). Any detected breach of the Bayside Planning Scheme and relevant Overlays are regulated by the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Offences for poison and damage to vegetation (trees) in this area can attract a maximum fine of $198,000 under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 if found guilty in the magistrates Court.
The illegal poisoning and interference of trees (public property) is also an offence under the Crimes Act 1958 and Summary Offences Act 1966 which are enforced by the Victorian Police.
Pictured above and below: poisoned trees on Hampton foreshore