Lake Macquarie City Council is investigating the deliberate poisoning of a prominent stand of trees on the Lake Macquarie waterfront.
It says seven trees lining the shared pathway between Warners Bay and Speers Point were drilled and poisoned earlier this month, with three mature eucalypts now dead and a large casuarina expected to perish in coming weeks.
The environmental vandalism follows a similar attack recently on trees along the Warners Bay foreshore.
Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Environmental Systems, Karen Partington said past incidents showed trees were often poisoned deliberately to open up views for people living in waterfront homes nearby.
“This is a callous, selfish act that destroys native habitat, degrades the area’s appearance and deprives the community of beautiful trees that have stood where they are for decades,” she said.
“We’re asking for anyone who might know anything about this vandalism to help us find the people responsible, either by contacting Council or Crimestoppers.”
People caught deliberately poisoning public trees face a $3000 on-the-spot fine, and can be penalised up to $110,000 if the matter is taken to court.
“Those trees previously provided a framed view of the lake for residents and road users, as well as shade and amenity for people using the shared pathway,” Ms Partington said.
“We will remove any unsafe dead limbs, but the trees will remain in place to provide habitat for native wildlife, and perching opportunities for osprey that frequent this area.”
“We’ll also be installing signs to remind people of the offence that has occurred, asking for any information that might help catch those responsible.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Council on 4921 0333 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.