Kiama tree poisoners prompt warnings of council crackdown

Dirty deeds: One of the poisoned Norfolk pines on Pacific Ave at Werri Beach on Thursday. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

Dirty deeds: One of the poisoned Norfolk pines on Pacific Ave at Werri Beach on Thursday. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

Another low act of tree poisoning has Kiama Council ready to take some heavier measures to catch culprits in the act.

This time the scene of the crime is Werri Beach, where two of the beachfront Norfolk pines have been attacked by a coward from the shadows.

It came after recent attacks on trees at Jones Beach at Kiama Downs, and at South Bombo.

Now Kiama Municipal Council may have to install surveillance cameras to catch poisoners.

Sorry sight: Some of the poisoned trees at Jones Beach, Kiama Downs. Picture supplied by Kiama Municipal Council.

Sorry sight: Some of the poisoned trees at Jones Beach, Kiama Downs. Picture supplied by Kiama Municipal Council.

Council’s director of engineering and works Gino Belsito said the response may include installation of “camera traps” – as well as replanting the trees.

“Poisoning, or damaging in any way, trees on public lands is totally illegal and carries substantial penalties as high as $1 million,” he said.

Mr Belsito said there was a proper process for residents to raise concerns about trees they want pruned or removed.

“We have a team dedicated to assisting residents who have a problem with a tree either on their own land, a neighbouring property or on nearby public land,” he said.

“Last year we were able to deal with 491 customer requests regarding trees on public land.”

Kiama uses remote sensor cameras to monitor illegal dumping hotspots.

Anyone with information about poisoning is urged to call council’s tree management unit on 4232 0444.

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