Sign Shames Tree Cutters

Picture: Noosa Matters: Damage done to the foreshore vegetation

Noosa News, Friday 27, October 2023 p.3

This sign, and the soon-to-be-erected fencing to protect the revegetation of an area where wholesale clearing of vegetation occurred at Peregian Beach are indicative of Noosa Council’s tough, zero-tolerance policy to illegal activities on public land. It sends a clear message to would-be offenders that there are consequences should they decide to claim land that doesn’t belong to them, or interfere with Nature Reserves in any way.

The Council now has mapping tools and does regular drone surveys that can detect new encroachments and vegetation clearing. It also relies on us, the residents of Noosa, to be vigilant and report any unusual activities promptly, with as much detail as possible. As a community, we need to say “no” to those few entitled or uninformed people who interfere with Nature Reserves for their own benefit.

In the meantime, I am advised by the Council that Local Laws are still working through the investigation of encroachment at the Marcus Beach Foreshore Reserve. They have undertaken to notify me of the outcome when the investigation is completed. So keep watching this space.

See the article from the Sunshine Coast News below.

Jude Tulloch

SUNSHINE COAST NEWS, October 25, 2023

Sign installed on foreshore amid warning of huge fines for illegal clearing

Noosa Council has sent a clear warning that illegal clearing of vegetation won’t be tolerated, after trees and plants were cut down and removed from the foreshore.

Council installed a large sign behind Lorikeet Drive, Peregian Beach – where about 300sqm of nature was unlawfully cleared – with a reminder that anyone found interfering with or clearing vegetation may be prosecuted.

Council also said, in a press release, that the acts carry significant fines of up to $131,580.

Installation of the sign comes as revegetation of the area is about to start and the area is fenced off to prevent access while new plantings establish.

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart said the 1.5m x 2.5m sign sent a clear message that the council takes illegal clearing seriously.

“It will serve as a striking warning that we take illegal destruction of vegetation on public land very seriously and pursue all avenues possible to identify and prosecute offenders,” she said.

Council’s Development and Regulation Director Richard MacGillivray said delicate coastal foreshore was cleared at the area behind Lorikeet Drive.

“The vegetation plays an important role supporting biodiversity and protecting our coastal communities from erosion so we’re more resilient in the face of increasingly severe weather events,” he said.

“We hope the sign will encourage anyone with information about any environmental destruction to come forward, as well as discourage anyone else from interfering with vegetation for views, access, or other reasons,” he said.

“We will certainly consider installing these signs in the case of other illegal tree clearing.”

Mr MacGillivray said the council relied on the community to be its eyes and ears and report illegal clearing and interference with vegetation on public land.

“We thoroughly investigate all cases like this, but as the onus is on council to prove guilt we need to gather as much evidence as possible, and that’s where nearby residents and passers-by can be extremely helpful.”

Mr MacGillivray said the sign will remain in place until the new plantings have matured.

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