Resident’s alarm at ‘dead zone’

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Siesta Park resident Lyn Mckilligan is fighting for more tree replanting in the City of Busselton
Camera IconSiesta Park resident Lyn Mckilligan is fighting for more tree replanting in the City of Busselton Credit: Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Jackson Lavell-Lee

Tree replanting is a crusade close to the heart for Siesta Park resident Lyn McKilligan.

According to Ms McKilligan, “hundreds” of mature peppermint trees have been illegally lopped in Siesta Park over the past 10 years.

Endangered western ringtail possums often nest in peppermint trees in the surrounding area and Ms McKilligan said trees were often removed without replanting.

“Ninety per cent of the native bush has been systematically removed from both sides of the public walkway through Siesta Park Reserve,” she said.

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“It’s a ‘dead zone’ now, with no native critters of any sort living here due to habitat destruction/removal.” The passionate Ms McKilligan said she wanted to “preserve our beautiful environment” and “hold those destroying native habitat accountable”.

The Times reported in March 2018 that several peppermint trees had been illegally cleared, sparking widespread criticism of the City of Busselton for moving a native tree in favour of developing a new green at the Busselton Croquet Club.

Protests included the alleged placement of a dead western ringtail possum at the site signifying the critically endangered marsupial’s plight, with many locals frustrated the trees were culled.

City of Busselton director of planning and development services Paul Needham said the City was not aware of any recent unlawful tree lopping.

“The public foreshore area accessed from Siesta Park Road is land that is managed by the City of Busselton, for purposes of foreshore management, landscape protection and recreation, and is land that does have significant environmental values,” Mr Needham said.

“Any member of the public who sees what they think may be unlawful tree removal or any other works on public land should contact the City. The City can then investigate and address the issues.”

However, Mr Needham said clearing of vegetation on private land did not always require an approval.

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