Ironbarks attacked near Rathluba Lagoon
Almost 30 trees along Wallis Creek have been hacked at in a serious vandalism attack.
The damaged trees are mostly Ironbarks which had been deliberately planted near Rathluba Lagoon to assist with habitat creation, as well as reduce weed growth and potential erosion along the creek.
The discovery comes just weeks after Ironbarks were found to have been illegally logged along Mount Vincent Road.
“Unfortunately this issue has been a hot topic recently,” Maitland City Council’s Development and Environment manager David Simm said.
“While most of these trees will live, many are quite sick and are now completely vulnerable to disease.
“It’s really important that people know that this is happening so that they can report any attacks to Council and/or the police.”
Fines for damaging the trees can range from $22,000 to $1.65 million, and perpetrators can also face up to two years of imprisonment.
The larger area is home to the endangered Lower Hunter Spotted Gum Ironbark Forest, which has been decimated by land clearing and tree dieback. Around 90 per cent of the forest has been lost since European settlement, with the remaining forest also under threat from weed encroachment.
Council was recently awarded a $100,000 grant to protect the forest at three separate reserves at Four Mile Creek, Two Mile Creek and behind the Mount Vincent Waste Management Centre.
To report tree vandalism call Council on 4934 9700.