Banksias deliberately poisoned along Jones Beach

ANGRY: Director of engineering and work Gino Belsito, Cr Don Watson and Cr Andrew Sloan inspect the site at Jones Beach where a stretch of banksia trees have died.
ANGRY: Director of engineering and work Gino Belsito, Cr Don Watson and Cr Andrew Sloan inspect the site at Jones Beach where a stretch of banksia trees have died.

Kiama Council has declared war on tree-haters following yet more poisonings.

This latest attack has seen an extensive number of banksias deliberately poisoned along Jones Beach at Kiama Downs.

Director Engineering and Work, Gino Belsito, said he was evaluating infra-red surveillance cameras before deploying them at poisoning hotspots.

“Council has said, if these tree poisonings continue, we’d consider camera traps to catch these vandals,” Mr Belsito said.

“This latest sustained attack leaves council little choice but to deploy remote night-time cameras.”

Councillor Andrew Sloan has described the poisoning of the banksias as shameful.

“Halfway along Jones Beach all the banksias are suddenly dead,” he said. 

I am so angry to hear that this seems to have been a deliberate campaign to poison all trees at the northern end of the beach.

Cr Andrew Sloan

“I am so angry to hear that this seems to have been a deliberate campaign to poison all trees at the northern end of the beach.

“I support everything council can do to find the perpetrators and apply the full force of the law.”

Cr Sloan said the attacks also destroyed the good work being done by the recently-formed Landcare group to properly manage Jones Beach.

“People are selfishly trying to enhance their views of the water, forgetting both the value of the banksias to birdlife, and how much sand is likely to end up in their front yard when newly unstable dunes are hit by next big east coast low.”

Kiama Downs resident and Jones beach Landcare coordinator Mark Hume has been clearing rubbish and lantana out of the dune system.

“We’ve noticed a lot of dead banksias although we’ve been working a bit further south, but certainly in the north, there are a lot of dead banksias,” Mr Hume said.

“I’m not an arborist, I don’t know the reasons why they’ve died, whether it’s been poisoning or natural attrition, but certainly there seems to be a line of dead banksias.

“We are waiting for Kiama Council to look at their management plan and at the moment those banksias will stay in place until council decides if they can be removed and just what the story is.”

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