Tree poisoning has Kiama council considering remote camera traps to catch vandals

Kiama council is looking at using surveillance cameras to catch residents poisoning trees on public land.

Council's director of Engineering and Works Gino Belsito said the latest poisoning of two Norfolk Island Pines at Werri Beach had council considering remote camera traps to catch vandals.

“In the last six months alone we’ve had trees poisoned at Werri Beach, Jones Beach and South Bombo Beach,” Mr Belsito said.

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

Mr Belsito said council had a proper process in place 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.

“Most people work with our staff and within the law to resolve their problem.

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

“Unfortunately a small minority of people are taking things into their own hands and removing, pruning or poisoning trees.”

Kiama council already uses remote sensor cameras to monitor illegal dumping hot-spots.

Mr Belsito said as well as installing camera traps, council was looking at replanting the poisoned trees.

Council is urging anyone with information regarding poisoning of trees to contact its tree management unit on 4232 0444.