Tree vandals strike again

A spate of attacks on trees in Sunshine’s Wright Street has cost Brimbank ratepayers more than $9000 in the past two months.

About 25 trees have been vandalised in three separate incidents – each tree has cost ratepayers about $370 for planting and maintenance costs.

In the latest incident, a dozen trees planted in the median strip were knocked down, on October 6.

It is the third time vandals have struck at the Sunshine street in the past two months, prompting Brimbank mayor John Hedditch to put out a call for witnesses to come forward with information so that offenders can be caught and prosecuted.

“This has to stop – someone has deliberately and repeatedly driven over these trees,” Cr Hedditch said.

“These thoughtless vandals are jeopardising our neighbourhoods, costing ratepayers money and undermining council’s work to beautify Brimbank.”

In recent years, the council has worked toward increasing the tree canopy coverage in Brimbank under its Urban Forest Strategy. The strategy aims to increase Brimbank’s tree canopy from 6.2 per cent coverage to 30 per cent within 30 years.

Brimbank council is also part of the Greening the West initiative, which aims to increase canopy coverage across Melbourne’s west.

“Trees help reduce temperatures, improve air quality, add value to properties and encourage us to be more active – all of which helps create a healthy and happy community,” Cr Hedditch said.

“In the past two years we’ve planted an additional 180,000 trees, but we need to also protect these trees.”

Anyone with information about these incidents or who witnesses tree vandalism is asked to call the council on 9249 4000.