Vegetation destroyed on foreshore of two local beaches

Published: 13 Apr 2022

Two cases of extremely significant vegetation vandalism will cost the community more than $7000 to remediate.

Both cases were discussed at today’s (April 13) ordinary council meeting.

The first case involved ongoing damage to foreshore vegetation on Haliday Bay Road dating back to 2013. The second case was in relation to at least 20 trees being cut down with a saw on O’Brien Esplanade at Shoal Point.

Mayor Greg Williamson said council would take immediate action to deter any further environmental damage.

“It is disappointing that we continue to see some residents in the community wilfully damaging the environment to improve views to their properties,” he said.

“As a result, we will be installing a large billboard to block views at Shoal Point and we will restart the timeframe on the existing billboard in Haliday Bay.

“This sign will remain in place for five more years after 15 trees that were revegetated in 2020 were recently found damaged or removed.

“We will also install fencing behind the sign at Haliday Bay to prevent the area being used as a walkway.

“The damaged vegetation will be replanted at both sites, using a replanting rate of three trees planted for every one tree that was damaged.

“This means we will be planting 60 new trees in Shoal Point and 45 new trees in Haliday Bay.”

The cost to replant the vegetation at Haliday Bay, including a minimum six months of maintenance, is $2950. Ratepayers will also have to cover the cost of $1000 to install the new billboard at Shoal Point, plus an additional $3100 to plant and maintain the new vegetation at this location for at least six months.

Mayor Williamson said the vegetation in these areas not only provided critical habitat for fauna, but it also prevented erosion.

“Our foreshore vegetation helps stabilise the sand dunes and provides protection to coastal properties in severe weather events, such as cyclones, by acting as a barrier,” he said

“It is frustrating that some locals prioritise the view of the beach from their property over the stability, habitat and safety the foreshore provides.”