MORE than $11,000 worth of vandalism has occurred at Blackwall Reach Reserve with the City of Melville now forced to foot the bill.
The reserve is one of nearly 300 Bush Forever sites along the Swan coastal plain, which are included in a State Government strategy to protect.
The damage was reported to the City by the Bicton Environmental Action Group at the start of May.
City of Melville chief executive Marten Tieleman said the vegetation, which had been visibly destroyed, was flora that had naturally propagated following a fire in the area six years ago.
“Working together to create a clean and green city is a key focus for our natural areas and parks teams, along with the many volunteers who contribute their time, and we are all frustrated when this type of eco-vandalism occurs – it works against everything we try to achieve to restore, conserve and grow our green areas and urban forest,” he said.
“Our many volunteers, who include the Bicton Environmental Action Group, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Green Army and Bicton Primary School, have contributed hours and hours of volunteer work over the years at this particular site.
“In other words, there is not only a huge environmental and financial cost but also a wider impact to the community, with so many of the people who have contributed their time and care to this area, devastated by the damage.
“We will now need to work together to restore the damage that has been done, a process that will take about four years and cost more than $11,000, not counting the value of the volunteer effort that has and will be put in.”
The City alerted the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions who have since visited the site with officers and will determine the best way forward towards restoration of the site.