Tree vandalism to be raised with Council
The Central Coast branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation will approach Central Coast Council about alleged tree vandalism on the Ettalong foreshore.
Branch president Mr Mark Ellis said the branch would ask the Council to investigate the apparent recent drilling and poisoning of a number of coastal banksias and to "follow up with legal enforcement".
Members of the Peninsula Residents Association and the Grow Urban Shade Trees group were alerted to the tree vandalism last week.
"This is an act of premeditated environmental vandalism" said GUST representative Ms Debbie Sunartha.
"This is a selfish act. These trees belong to the whole community."
She said concerned residents contacted both groups for support and advice when they noticed three established trees unexpectedly dying on the foreshore near the Atlantis apartments.
Drill holes could clearly be seen at the base of the trees, she said.
"It is hoped that the majority of responsible residents and neighbours actually value and understand the importance of dune vegetation and these trees in particular.
"They provide a valuable food source for many native wildlife, including birds, insects and small mammals. Destroying these trees does a lot of harm to a delicate ecosystem."
Mr Ellis said, when residents removed dune vegetation for the view, they were removing the natural protection against coastal erosion.
"Coastal zones like Ettalong Beach are impacted by storm surges and coastal erosion, which can be seen at Lance Webb Reserve just metres away.
"The Department of Lands, in a report as far back as 1992, identified the Ettalong Beach shoreline ecosystem as under pressure from recreation, tourism, building development and sand movement, and found that the remnant ecosystems on Ettalong beach must be protected and enhanced.
"The utilisation of green infrastructure to protect beaches is widely known, and the importance of preserving the area's natural environment was highlighted in the 2007 Ettalong Beach foreshore management plan."
Ms Sunartha agreed: "As we lose more and more of the canopy layer on our local dune systems to erosion following extreme storms, ongoing vandalism and historic mismanagement, development and over clearing, we are leaving not only our local ecosystems open to further extreme degradation but also exposing residents living along these coastlines open to increasing weather event extremes."
She said: "The loss of mature trees across the Peninsula due to the development boom is both scary and upsetting.
"I hope to see our Central Coast Council following their Greener Places Strategy and acting to protect pre-existing natural assets.
"Concerned members of the public would like to see disciplinary action taken to discourage future vandalism."
Media release, 26 Jun 2022
Mark Ellis, ACF Central Coast
Media release, 26 Jun 2022
Debbie Sunartha, GUST