Environment Minister David Templeman has urged communities around the Swan and Canning Rivers to dob-in tree vandals.
While vandals can be hit with penalties of up to $5,000 for each offence, Mr Templeman said it was difficult to mount a prosecution without witnesses.
“Trees are an essential part of our environment and I am sick of hearing about people wantonly damaging or killing them, in many cases simply to improve their views,” he said.
“The Swan River Trust is doing all it can to deter and punish vandals by installing signs and replacing damaged trees.
“While this is certainly having an effect, it’s clear not everyone is heeding the warning.
“Today I visited Minim Cove at Mosman Park, to replace a tree that was snapped in half just two months after it was planted in place of the grander original tree, which was poisoned.
“Local residents have been very co-operative in both reporting the damage and helping to replace the trees.
“However, the reality is that we are rapidly approaching a situation where we will have to consider installing gigantic, ugly black signs in place of every single damaged tree.
“What people may not realise is that foreshore vegetation plays an important role in stabilising riverbanks, providing habitat, and the long-term health of the rivers.
“So my message to families and households is that it is in their interests to look after riverside trees and to report tree damage to help us catch tree vandals.
“It will then be up to the courts to make an example of them and send a strong message that this offence will not be tolerated.”
The public are encouraged to report any acts of environmental vandalism to the Trust on 9278 0900.
Minister's office - 9220 5050