The City of Cockburn is asking its residents to help combat illegal bush clearing by reporting suspicious activity at its reserves.
Cockburn’s wetlands and bushlands are some of the community’s most treasured natural assets and the City is dedicated to their protection and preservation.
In Western Australia, it is an offence to clear native vegetation without the authority of a permit or an exemption and fines may apply.
This week, two Tuart Trees were cut down in a reserve south of Spearwood Avenue to create a makeshift trail. Tuarts are endemic to the Cockburn area and offer important habitat to birdlife, including protected species of Black Cockatoo.
The City will be removing the trails and other materials dumped on the site.
Illegal clearing has also been discovered at a number of other reserves.
The City’s Head of Sustainability, Christopher Beaton, said that illegal clearing is a serious offence.
“The City runs an exhaustive program maintaining native bushland – including extensive weed control, rubbish removal, feral animal control and fire risk reduction. The City plants more than 80,000 seedlings each year in an effort to rehabilitate degraded bushland and expand the local tree canopy,” said Mr Beaton.
“Illegal clearing not only undoes this conservation work, but it destroys valuable habitat for our native animals and birds – which include threatened and near-threatened species.”
While the City conducts ranger and CoSafe patrols in these areas, with more than 90 conservation reserves across Cockburn, there are simply insufficient resources to maintain a constant presence.
The City is urging residents to assist, by remaining vigilant and proactively reporting instances of clearing.
Residents who suspect that clearing has occurred without approval are encouraged to report the incident to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation's website
Residents are also encouraged to contact the City’s rangers who can be reached weekdays 8.30am-5pm on 08 9411 3444 or [email protected]
Unauthorised clearing is regulated by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.