What type of trees were vandalised?
The two trees are coastal tea trees ( Leptospermum leavigatum), a species that is endemic to south-east Australia. These were planted in this area in the 1970s as ornamental plantings.
What is the significance of the trees?
The coastal tea trees are within the Wollongong Harbour State Heritage Precint and were retained during the redevelopment of the Brighton Lawn precint in 2008. They are recognised as highly significant native trees, which are considered remant informal planting that have contributed to the character of the area, They have been an attraction for local children, photographers and artists
What damage was done to the trees?
The trees had their upper branches removed, leaving them with no leaves and only trunks remaining as shown in these photos.
What are we doing about the vandalism incident?
Council is following the Tree and Vegetation Vandalism Policy in our investigation and response to this incident.
In addition to providing information to NSW Police on the vandalism, Council has also reported the act to Heritage NSW for investigation. It’s believed the vandalism will constitute a breach of the NSW Heritage Act 1977.
If you have any information in relation to this incident, please contact NSW Police or Council.
We will be installing a large tree vandalism sign on the south side of the damaged trees.
In addition, we will be installing two community murals adjacent to the trees.
Council is currently preparing a review of its Tree and Vegetation Vandalism Policy to explore options for strengthened protection measures for our trees, and greater focus for reporting tree vandals. This review will be undertaken in early 2021.