NOOSA Council has installed a large sign at the site of illegal tree clearing at Peregian Beach to send a clear message that environmental vandalism won’t be tolerated.
Installation of the sign comes as revegetation of the 300sqm area is about to begin and the area is fenced off to prevent access while new plantings establish.
Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart said the 1.5 metre by 2.5 metre sign sends a clear message that Council takes illegal clearing very 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,” Mayor Stewart said.
Council’s Development and Regulation Director Richard MacGillivray said delicate coastal foreshore had been cleared.
“The vegetation plays an important role in 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,” Mr MacGillivray said.
“We will certainly consider installing these signs in the case of other illegal tree clearing.”
Mr MacGillivray said 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.”
Interfering with vegetation carries significant fines of up to $131,580.
Mr MacGillivray said the sign will remain in place behind Lorikeet Drive at Peregian Beach until the new plantings have matured.