City of Cockburn: man fined for stealing logs used to stabilise dunes

CY O'Connor Beach. Photo: City of Cockburn Facebook page.
CY O'Connor Beach. Photo: City of Cockburn Facebook page.

A MAN who illegally removed materials from nature rehabilitation projects from CY O’Connor Beach last winter has been found guilty and ordered to pay $500 and $3500 of the City of Cockburn’s legal costs.

The man was photographed in June by a fellow visitor to the area as he loaded a wheelbarrow with logs being used to stabilise fragile dunes in the reserve, before transferring them to his ute.

The evidence was provided to the City which then tracked down the man and issued him an $80 fine, which he subsequently refused to pay, arguing he was legitimately collecting firewood.

The man appeared at Fremantle Magistrate’s Court on 24 January for non-payment of the fine and found guilty of removing the timber without permission under Section 3.4 (b) of the City of Cockburn Local Law.

Cockburn environmental manager Chris Beaton said matting, timber and brush recycled from Council gardening activities were regularly used at the reserve to stabilise erosion caused by human activity and dynamic coastal weather processes.

“Dead wood is a valuable habitat for coastal species from insects to reptiles, birds, marsupials and mammals. It also breaks down in the soil, providing vital nutrients,” he said.

“The layering of timber and brush also prevents further erosion by discouraging people from walking through the dunes.

“The brushing material is made up of branches from tree prunings to trap sand particles, and seeds dropped from local plant species, also contributing to dune stabilisation.

“Brushing is effective because it lies slightly proud of the surface, creating a shaded microclimate where seedlings are protected from the sun and wind.

“The City is thankful to people who care about their community and the local environment enough to let us know if they see something that doesn’t look quite right.”

Suspicious activities should be reported to the City on 9411 3444 or CoSafe on 1800 267 233.