Vandalism on Jetty Dunecare patch of littoral rainforest

Jetty Dunecare President Desnee McCosker on site clearing up beer bottles from the vandalised littoral rainforest where tree branches have been sawn off.

VANDALISM to the littoral rainforest in the dunes above Jetty Beach in Coffs Harbour has been met with feelings of sadness and frustration felt by Jetty Dunecare members.

Smaller trees have been sawn off above ground level causing trip hazards while lower limbs on taller trees have been pruned and dumped in the bush.

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“The damage extends to more than 50 meters long and 15 meters wide,” Jetty Dunecare President Desnee McCosker told News Of The Area.

“This patch is littoral rainforest, that’s rainforest growing beside the ocean; there’s not much left of it anymore.

“It’s an endangered ecological community which has taken 40 years to regenerate here, so it’s pretty special,” said Desnee.

“Also, within that area there’s an endangered plant in NSW named silverbush (Sophora tomentosa).

“It’s quite an attractive plant, and it’s been severely hacked back.”

Looking at the vandalism, the Jetty Dunecare members find it concerning that there is someone who thinks they’ve got the right to come in with a saw and make these cuts to the rainforest trees.

According to Desnee, the work looks like it has been done with a battery-operated chainsaw, to have cleared and cut such a big patch.

“We don’t know when it was done, day or night, but we’re really keen for the community to know that if they see anything like this happening to call the council or the police straight away.

“The council can check and make sure what they’re seeing is approved works going on, or not.”

Jetty Dunecare has a long and reciprocal relationship with City of Coffs Harbour and is currently working through a four-year program funded by the Environmental Levy.

“We have a huge area of work reaching from Coffs Creek to Boambee Creek.

“We use the funding for hiring bush regenerators for skilled and heavy work and such things as chemical weed control,” she said.

In the past twelve months Jetty Dunecare members have contributed $80,000 worth of voluntary work to the area, which includes collecting dropped rubbish by people who are not putting it in the bins.

Having celebrated 40 years of Jetty Dunecare in 2022, the group has a long commitment to looking after the area.

“That’s why we do get distressed and upset when we find malicious damage that uncaring people do,” closed Desnee.

A City of Coffs Harbour spokesperson told NOTA, “City staff are extending the existing bollard fencing to reduce unauthorised access to the site and a sign is to be installed.”


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