Attack on fig trees continues

Northern Star

MORE trees in the heart of Burringbar have been attacked by vandals, including some near a war memorial and in a regeneration area.

Following the Tweed Daily News'report on Tuesday, Tweed Shire Council yesterday revealed a total of five young fig trees in a regeneration area had been poisoned, and the brazen vandals even re-poisoned trees which were attacked in March.

The new attack is a major disappointment to Council and the Burringbar RSL sub-branch which tried to save the trees poisoned earlier this year in Masterson Park.

Sub-branch president Alan Vincent said the attack was particularly upsetting, as the RSL was working towards a celebration for the 90th anniversary of the World War I memorial in September.

“We're pretty certain that this was the first World War I memorial unveiled on the Tweed, so it is significant,” Mr Vincent said.

“Those trees were planted to shade the ex-servicemen when they marched.”

Council's recreation services manager Stewart Brawley said the vandals used the same method of drilling into the tree trunk to inject poison.

“We have been working closely with the Burringbar community and the RSL to save the previously poisoned trees, however three of them have become too much of a risk and as a last resort will have to be removed for safety reasons,” Mr Brawley said.

Council is unaware of the motivation behind the attacks, but Burringbar store owner Doug Clarke believes it may be due to the large number of bats that roost in the trees.

Mr Brawley said: “We will vigorously pursue prosecution against anyone found to have carried out this act of vandalism. We appeal to the community if they have any information that may lead to identifying the culprits to come forward and contact us on (02) 6670 2400.”

The niece of the park's namesake Sheila Howard was saddened to hear of the fresh attack on the trees.

“I remember my uncle used to spend hours and hours there planting trees to beautify the area for the war memorial,” Mrs Howard said yesterday.

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