By MICK ROBERTS.
THE Sandon Point Bushcare Group gather at Sandon Point this Sunday as the guerrilla campaign against more than 15 years of voluntary work in the area continues unabated.
The group will gather this Sunday on the southern side on Sandon Point from 10am, finishing around midday and later gathering at McCauley’s Beach at 2pm.
The Bulli Times revealed last month an ongoing campaign to destroy beachside plantings.
The coordinated assault by a group of local residents has been underway on council funded Bushcare restoration work from Waniora Point, north to McCauley’s Beach for a number of years.
The vandals, The Bulli Times understands have waged the war in the name of coastal and ocean views. The extent of the latest attacks has shocked environmentalists, who have in the past refused to comment in fear of inflaming the problem.
Sandon Point Bushcare coordinator Marcel Van Wijk reluctantly decided to talk to The Bulli Times in the hope of prompting authorities to act on the problem. The veteran environmentalist said ultimately the continuing vandalism is a management issue that needs to be addressed by those in authority.
On the eve of tomorrow’s plantings Mr Van Wijk pleaded with council to crack down on the vandalism.
“With all of the tree vandalism occurring in the area of late, I’m hoping that Council will step up and develop a solid policy of protection, surveillance and restoration for all of our natural areas,” he said.
”It is especially important for Council to lay down a strong foundation of support for all of us volunteers that have been working to restore many of our natural areas for over 15 years in the area.
“This situation will ultimately be a test to see what level of real support and commitment there is for all the work we have done and all of the funding and resources that’s been put into these projects.”
Council confirmed it has received numerous complaints of vandalism to native trees and vegetation at multiple sites in the Bulli area.
“We’re currently investigating these complaints,” a spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately, the nature of tree vandalism on public land is difficult to police.”
Under the Local Government Act, people can be fined up to $2,200 if they “wilfully or negligently injure damage or unnecessarily disturb any plant, animal, rock or soil in a public place”.
Meanwhile Mr Van Wijk and his volunteers will be at Sandon Point this Sunday continuing their environmental work.
”The plan for now will be to smash some weeds and prepare for a planting surge once it warms up again,” he said.