Mayor sees red

Perth council parks staff and community volunteers teamed up for a series of planting days throughout May. Photo via City of Perth.

“MORONS” are vandalising trees and costing Perth ratepayers tens of thousands to replace them, but lord mayor Basil Zempilas says vandals won’t win.

Speaking about the city’s Urban Greening Strategy that outlines the tree planting plan for the next decade, Mr Zempilas was aghast at the number of trees needing replacement.

In the last year $249,000 has been spent replacing newly planted trees that were either vandalised, taken out by cars, or failed to thrive. 

“Some of the vandalism that you see to the trees, you think… what is wrong with people?” Mr Zempilas said at the May 23 council briefing.

He said the council’s parks team and citizen volunteers like those who’d turned up to recent community planting days were working hard to keep the city green and shady for future generations, “and morons want to walk past trees and snap them in half”.

Mr Zempilas said despite the cost of replacement “we don’t give in though. 

“And actually one of the choices for our city to make would be ‘oh well, it’s too hard, we tried planting trees but people keep breaking them in half’ 

“But I’m very, very proud of the city that we continue our efforts and continue to find ways to make it harder for the morons to do what they do and we should be very proud of those efforts.”

Along with vandals and bad drivers, The CBD’s trees have suffered in recent years with extreme heat spells taking a toll on deciduous trees.

London Planes and Moreton Bay Figs have been shedding much of their canopies under heat stress, prompting the council to bring in tankers for the 2020/21 summer.

by DAVID BELL

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