Community & Business

31 May, 2023

Mystery surrounds vandalism

A ROGUE lumberjack has felled multiple mature-aged trees along the Barron River Esplanade near the John Doyle Bridge in Mareeba causing them to obstruct the waterway and restrict access to further parts of the waterfront.

By Rhys Thomas

Mystery surrounds vandalism - feature photo

Nearby resident Gladys France has heard about six trees being cut down over the past 8-12 months, with the most recent being just two weeks ago on Sunday - just days before paddlers from across the country competed in the Barron River Challenge, starting from the John Doyle Bridge.

The trees are being cut down for no apparent reason as they are being left where they fall and not being cut up for firewood.

The matter is now being investigated by Mareeba Shire Council.

Trees have been cut down on both the riverside, which is managed by the State Government, and on council land.

If a tree is on council land, the maximum penalty is $2,875 if taken to court or an on the spot fine of $287.

Ms France lives across the river from where the tree vandalism has occurred and said she could regularly hear it from her backyard.

“I don’t know why anyone would pick a Sunday afternoon to do this because there is always people down here – it is a busy area and I walk the dog down here every after-noon,” she said.

“The frequency has definitely increased.”

One of the recent trees that was cut down is stretched across the water and currently blocking over half the river while another has fallen across the road.

Mrs France raised concerns with Mareeba Shire Council-lor Lenore Wyatt which has now sparked an investigation.

Cnr Wyatt said the big question was “why” someone cut down the trees and then leave them obstructing the waterway and further access to the esplanade.

“It is disappointing to see this and the question is why? The tree is felled and then it is left and it restricts access to the recreational users who love to come down here,” she said.

If anyone has any information contact council.


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