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Open Space and Environment
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Community Development & Engagement Team
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Council takes on illegal tree destruction
The people have spoken – fence off the section between Mant Street and the Esplanade in Hervey Bay where trees were illegally poisoned, and replant.
Cr David Lewis said almost 450 people responded to a Fraser Coast Regional Council call for feedback on how it should respond to illegal destruction of trees in parks and reserves, in particular Mant Street.
“I am pleased with the response. The destruction of trees in Council parks and reserves, especially along the Hervey Bay foreshore, has gone on for too long,” he said.
“Residents have been calling for action and the response to the survey indicates that they are behind Council.”
Council received 446 formal responses to the survey.
The results showed:
“While the survey indicated residents were not satisfied that offenders were not held accountable, and there was potential for residents adjacent to the poison site to be unfairly punished, there was consistent support for Council’s response to tree destruction on Council parks and reserves.
“They want Council to enforce its policies, and they want fines for people caught damaging trees increased.”
As part of the rehabilitation of the Mant Street site, in accordance with the policy on Illegal Vegetation Damage on Council Managed Land, a 2.1metre-high temporary-fence will be erected around the damaged area in Mant Street.
The temporary fencing will have a printed mesh cover installed on to it which explains that illegal vegetation damage has occurred at this location and information about the importance of native vegetation.
The fence will remain in place until the replanted vegetation reaches 2.1 metres high.
The wider engagement survey has now closed (as of 11:59pm, Friday 22 May 2020). Thank you for taking the time to contribute to this engagement process.
Help shape Council’s response to tree destruction
Fraser Coast residents are being asked for their feedback on how Council should deal with the destruction of trees in its parks and reserves.
The call for feedback follows the poisoning of a section of trees between the Esplanade and Mant Street in Point Vernon.
“Council had proposed to use 2.1-metre-high temporary fencing to cordon off the area as it rehabilitated the site and act as a billboard to raise community awareness about illegal vegetation damage,” Cr David Lewis said.
“The proposal generated informal feedback through Councillors and staff.
“Some residents of Mant Street supported the proposal, some did not. Residents from other areas also expressed similar views.
“As a result, Council resolved the project was to be put on hold so we could undertake further formal community consultation.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, and pop-up forums and open days planned as part of a community survey cannot be held.
“We will now use our online engagement website, an online survey and online activities with key stakeholder groups,” Cr Lewis said.
The survey is available on frasercoast.engagementhub.com.au/ and will close on Friday, May 22.
“Residents will be able to log on to view the project information and what was proposed and leave feedback by completing the survey,” Cr Lewis said.
In a report to the January Council meeting it was estimated that it would cost $40,000, spread over four years, to rehabilitate the Mant Street site.
That included the soil testing which pinpointed the poisoning, replanting and establishing the new trees, fencing and the information hoarding.
The fencing was needed to stop people accessing the site, which is contaminated with herbicide, as they could be hurt by branches falling from the dead trees.
It was proposed that the fencing would remain until the new vegetation reached the same height as the fence.
The fencing was to be wrapped with a printed cover explaining that illegal vegetation damage had occurred at the location, information about the importance of native vegetation and the contact details for Council to report suspicious activities.
How do we collaboratively develop an approach for managing incidents of illegal vegetation damage?
The survey for this project will provide the community and stakeholders the opportunity to have their input on the Mant St illegal vegetation damage and provide a process for collaboratively developing an approach for managing these incidents moving forward. The survey will allow Council to better understand the perspectives of community and stakeholders on this issue. The survey will run from Monday 27 April 2020 (9:00am) to Friday 22 May 2020 (11:59pm). To take the survey please click on the link in the Survey section or follow the link below.