Groups deplore tree vandalism
ALMOST 20 years of back-breaking work regenerating the Kingscliff beachfront has been destroyed by vandals believed to be looking for a better view.
A 60-metre section of sand dune near Ozone Street has had the base of its trees hacked and poisoned.
Tweed Shire Council represen- tatives believe it happened a few weeks ago because the trees are quickly dying off.
Recreation services manager Stewart Brawley said without the trees the land behind the dunes would not be protected in a fierce storm.
"The trees protect everything behind them. By reducing the veg- etation you are opening the area up for a lot more erosion," he said.
"This means large storms will eat into the area more and salt spray will come straight through to the park."
Retired science teacher and en- vironmentalist Peter Langley said the vandalism was a very sad end to an effort that started 18 years ago to regenerate the beachfront.
"Ron Cooper started the Kings- cliff Dunecare Group and planted all the trees through here. It was this kind of thing that started off Landcare," Mr Langley said.
"He said if he had known this would happen he would have planted the trees away from the community and towards Fingal."
Kingscliff High School students Elle Taylor, Ellen Wilson and Sam Solley were just some of the local students disappointed by the dam- age yesterday.
"These guys are a continuation of what started here 18-years-ago," said Mr Langley.
The vandalism will be raised at Wednesday's council meeting, where a decision on a course of action is expected to be made.
Mr Brawley said councillors might consider erecting signs, warning against interfering with the dunes.
"There is extreme disappoint- ment here. There has been a lot of discussion about differentoptions," he said.
"There have been bits and pieces of this type of behaviour in the past, but this is fairly signifi- cant. It is fairly obvious and flies in the face of what we are trying to achieve.
"I ask the community to be vigilant and let us know if they see anything suspect."