IN what has been labelled as selfish, the remaining Norfolk Island Pine trees at Towradgi Park have been destroyed in a deliberate act of tree vandalism.
Today, Wollongong City Council staff discovered that at least 10 of the pine trees along the stretch of cycleway between Corrimal Surf Club and the Towradgi playground had been poisoned. Each tree had been drilled into and filled with poison.
Council have assessed the trees and found that it is unlikely the trees will survive however their health will be monitored over the coming weeks.
The incident follows a similar tree vandalism which saw two other Norfolk Pine trees destroyed at the same location, last week.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said that Council will be increasing an investigation into both tree vandalism incidents.
“Council is unbelievably disappointed by the selfish and destructive act that has resulted in the loss of so many beautiful trees,” Cr Bradbery said.
“Our community share in our grief over these incidents. We’ve witnessed a real outpouring of love, loss and sadness from residents for these trees and we thank our community for their supportive comments.
“Acts of tree vandalism impact all members of our community as public spaces, like our parks, sports fields and open areas, belong to everyone. When someone decides to selfishly destroy a tree, whether that’s for a better view, to steal a plant or to just cause damage to public property, this decision impacts everyone else.
“This particular incident is especially frustrating as it was pointless. These trees created shade and added to the beauty of the location for everyone to enjoy. To see someone choose to deliberately destroy these trees is truly disheartening and sickening.”
Council is calling for residents to share any information about either of these incidents of tree vandalism with Council or NSW Police.
“One of the biggest challenges with investigating tree vandalism is collecting enough real evidence so that the perpetrator can be charged,” Cr Bradbery said.
“Council and Police rely on the support of residents in these sorts of investigations and that’s why we’re calling for people who have any knowledge about this incident, or any other incidents, to share what you know.
“In the meantime, Council will be taking steps to install signage at this location to serve as a visual reminder that tree vandalism of any kind is not tolerated. We will also look to schedule future works to restore this site by planting new trees.”
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