‘We will not let this tree terrorist win’
BRAND new street trees were viciously uprooted in an act of "tree terrorism" that has infuriated residents.
Seven tuckeroos on Meadowlands Rd in Brisbane's southeast, which Brisbane City Council planted little more than a month ago, were pulled out between Friday night and Saturday morning.
Cr Ryan Murphy (Doboy) said the "wanton vandalism" destroyed much needed summer shade and wasted $2000 of ratepayers money.
"We are going to come back bigger and better than before. We are not going to let this tree terrorist win," he said.
He promised all seven trees would be replanted and protected by metal cages and placed under surveillance and had a warning for the unknown offender or offenders.
"I looked up the penalty for wilful damage and it's 20 penalty units, that's $2611, or one year in prison," he said.
"Someone knows who did this, someone saw this, we want that person to come forward."
It was not the first time the new street trees had been vandalised, said resident Angelique Mortleman, who was already on a rescue mission the night of the destruction.
About two weeks ago on her drive to work she noticed one had been stripped of its branches and another two had broken branches.
Last Wednesday she saw two had been partially pulled out of the ground and reported it to the council but on Friday realised workers would not make it in time to save the trees.
"I thought council's not going to make it here until Monday at the earliest, someone has to do something," she said.
"I went in the middle of the night and replanted the ones that had been pulled out and then gave them a water."
She was "beyond words" when she drove back from visiting her parents at 10am on Saturday morning to see all seven had been ripped out of the verge.
"And they were a little bit smashed up as well. Whoever came by on that Friday night really had something against them or thought it would be funny," she said.
"Whatever the motivation, the suburb is worse off.
"You try to counteract that kind of behaviour by doing a simple act to keep them going and then for that person or somebody else to come along and take out the rest of them.
"Some people you just can't help."
The tuckeroos were a long-awaited for replacement for mature jacarandas that were removed for Urban Utilities works, leaving the stretch of road unshaded and hot.
Cr Murphy said his office had already received five complaints from residents about the trees.