Cumulative damage to trees from Redland vandals must be substantial

VANDALS: State government officers inspecting damage at Aquatic Paradise.
VANDALS: State government officers inspecting damage at Aquatic Paradise.

IT’S hard to work out how much cumulative damage must have been done to the Redlands environment through people illegally clearing trees but it must be substantial.

This week residents have again heard about this criminal activity, this time at Aquatic Paradise. Queensland government officers investigating the damage say it is likely someone used a power saw.

Mostly such damage is done to mangroves from residents trying to gain or maintain a sea view. Perhaps if these people are so inclined, they should move to the Gold Coast to seek out a foreshore sans trees.

Essentially it is the appropriation of public property for their own use. It also is worth noting that it is highly likely that the people who do this are not some ne’re-do-wells from the back blocks. They are more likely to be better off beachside residents who probably deem themselves upstanding community members.

At Wellington Point and King Island there has been some aberrant behaviour where mangroves have been cut down which do not impede views. This irrational behaviour seems to be that of someone with an axe to grind or perhaps some spiteful point to prove about trees.

It’s hard to imagine that in these days of information overload, people can be so ignorant as not to know the environmental good that comes from mangroves.

If you go fishing as an activity or simply like to eat fish, it’s mangroves that supply much of your enjoyment and protein. Mangroves form the basis of the marine food chain and their importance cannot be underestimated as nursery areas.

An example of this is that Raby Bay was one of the most prolific commercial fisheries for net fishermen. Since the Raby Bay canal development and associated clearing of mangroves, the area has become pretty much a marine desert.

Also, the reason major movies are being filmed in the Redlands is because it is one of the few places in the heavily developed south east where the backdrop is green rather than a sea of housing.

Given the consistent nature of these attacks on public property and the environment and the fact that the prospect of fines up to $365,700 does not deter people, maybe it is time residents took a hand.

Maybe people should start dobbing in those responsible and surely it is time that courts took a stronger stand and started handing down much heavier fines.