Responding to Tree Vandalism on the Foreshore Reserve
Beaumaris Conservation Society Inc. recognizes the serious and deplorable vandalism of foreshore trees over recent years, and the need for more effective ways of dealing with the threat to the treed foreshore of Port Phillip, but it considers that a more effective, fairer, less unsightly and less provocative means of discouraging such actions than the erection of very high, expensive, screens as has been proposed would be to instead concentrate on the positive approach of always replanting vandalized areas, using indigenous coastal species that would grow to a similar size to those destroyed, although preferably with more trees than those that were destroyed if practicable, and protecting the newly-planted trees by:
providing thoroughly effective purpose-built heavy-gauge hardened steel mesh cages around them with thoroughly secure mountings,
installing an extensive system of automatic security cameras and sensors able to provide radio transmission of images and data to a security firm for monitoring purposes, possibly including a Web cam viewable on the Council Web site,
increasing the reward money to the proposed level of $20,000 or greater,
asking the Minister for Environment to move for an increase in the present maximum penalty of 40 penalty units in Section 37 of the Coastal Management Act 1995 to at least 100 penalty units, and
maintaining the present size of Tree Vandalism Signs, but replacing the phrase “at work” with a more disapproving phrase and adding, in smaller print, information about the date of the vandalism, the species and number of trees harmed, and a statement that the protective cages and the sign would stay until the replacement trees grew to the estimated size of those damaged.