All for a view
THEY'VE been killed at Sawtell, Arrawarra, Corindi and in Coffs Harbour.
And now they're being killed at Korora.
Despite the city's environmental credentials, being twice recognised on the world stage with a Nations in Bloom award in 2001 and the Best Enhanced Environment accolade at the recent Liveable Communities competition in Canada, it seems not everyone is keen on trees.
The latest victims are four majestic forest red gums.
The towering specimens on private land adjoining an exclusive new estate off Breakers Way at Korora have been drilled and poisoned, and are expected to die over the coming weeks and months.
The owner of the land is so upset he has vowed to replant more trees, and quick-growing ones, to limit any enhanced views the killing of the forest red gums might offer.
The attack on the trees is being investigated by the Coffs Harbour City Council.
"The trees appear to have been killed by someone wanting ocean views as the location of the trees would not have been a threat to life or property," the council's natural resources officer Kevin Taylor said.
The land in question is zoned for environmental protection and has been mapped as prime koala habitat in the koala plan of management.
"Forest red gums are an extremely important part of the diet of the Korora koala population. The Korora koala colony is one of the most significant in the Coffs Harbour City Council area and the loss of this food resource will severely impact on a population already stressed from habitat fragmentation," Mr Taylor said.
Forest red gums are also a major nectar source for other threatened species such as the nationally endangered swift parrot, which is regularly recorded in the area.
Mr Taylor said council consent is needed to remove any native trees in an environmental protection zone, and there are stiff penalties in place for offences against the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
"Fines can range from a $600 on-the-spot penalty right up to prosecution in the Land and Environment Court, where fines of up to $1.1 million can be imposed," Mr Taylor said.