Vegetation vandalism at Haliday Bay. Photo from Mackay Regional Council meeting agenda June 9.
Vegetation vandalism at Haliday Bay. Photo from Mackay Regional Council meeting agenda June 9.

Drastic measure to stop coastal vegetation vandals

AN UNMISSABLE message could replace trees cut down in a second act of vegetation vandalism.

Mackay Regional Council will today debate a motion to install a 3.6m x 1.8m billboard in the space of illegally created ocean views in Haliday Bay.

In what was deemed an extremely significant act of vegetation vandalism, five trees were cut down from the foreshore in front of the Haliday Bay Rd property.

After the lopping was reported to council on January 16, environmental ranger Jennifer Bailey said officers spoke with the residents at the property but obtained no evidence.

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She said the council classified the vandalism as "extremely significant" and proposed the council adopt a six-pronged action plan in response.

Among the completed measures was to conduct a site assessment and door knock local residents, as well as leave cut-down vegetation in place.

Four proposed measures included installing a 1.8m x 3.6m billboard sign, replanting the felled trees at a three to one ratio, monitoring the site with regular inspections, and undertaking media about vandalism.

"It has not been possible to gather evidence proving the identity of the person responsible for the vandalism," Ms Bailey said.

"Therefore, enforcement/court action is not recommended in this case, however this will be reassessed should further evidence be obtained.

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"Council records show vegetation vandalism also occurred at this site in 2013.

"None of the plants planted in response to the vandalism in 2013 remain, and it appears that they have all been removed/destroyed."

Repair and restoration works, if approved, would be funded through the council's Parks, Environment and Sustainability operational budget.

The council also will discuss its Operational Plan 2020-21, designed to ensure statutory obligations are met and exposure to litigation is minimised, among other measures.

The plan details programs, projects and services that could would deliver in 2020-21 to achieve its strategic vision.