News

Appeal to report plant vandalism and thefts after attacks on public spaces

WHILE horticultural teams have been working hard to spruce up regional playgrounds, parks and verges with new plants, vandals and thieves have also been at work undermining Wollongong City Council’s Urban Greening Strategy.

A number of public spaces have been targeted with plant theft and other forms of tree vandalism in recent months.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the Council is proud of the work its crews do each day to make the region a vibrant and green place to live.

“Unfortunately, some people have been doing the wrong thing by stealing and damaging plants,” he said.

“Public spaces are for everyone and plant theft wastes money, takes additional time to fix and ruins the beauty of our city.

“Any act of vandalism, from breaking or removing trees to pulling the plants out of the ground to die, is not on. The wanton destruction of plants, trees or any public property is a pathetic act that detracts from our sense of community and is an unnecessary waste of resources.”

Tree vandalism at Sandon Point, Bulli

Plant theft and tree vandalism on public land is a serious criminal offence. People caught stealing or vandalising plants and trees may receive a fine starting from thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the incident.

“It’s a shame to have to talk about the behaviour of just a few community members who are destroying and stealing plants from public land,” Cr Bradbery said.

“We’re asking everyone to enjoy our local playgrounds, parklands, verges and beaches without souveniring the plants for another garden. Please leave our public spaces intact and undamaged for the next person.”

Tree vandalism can come in many forms from poisoning, pruning, ringbarking, burning, removing or destroying plants.

“We need everyone’s help to stop plant theft in our community. If you do have information about a plant theft or act of tree vandalism, report it to Council or the Police,” Cr Bradbery said.

“If you do see a plant you love, don’t steal it. The Wollongong Botanic Garden holds regular subsidised plant sales for residents wanting to add colour to their garden with a range of native plants. So, there’s no excuse to steal plants from public land.”

Report plant theft and tree vandalism to Council by submitting a request on its website, or contact the Police on 131 444.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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