Illegal native vegetation clearance a mystery to Port Lincoln City Council

A CASE of illegal clearing in the coastal reserve next to the Lincoln Marine Science Centre on Hindmarsh Street has the Port Lincoln City Council mystified.

Council staff recently discovered a large pile of cleared vegetation while they were assessing the area for a project to remove woody weeds rhamnus and polygala from the reserve, which is on Crown land under the care and control of the council.

The Port Lincoln City Council’s community infrastructure manager Nigel Melzner said it was particularly disappointing to see the vegetation cleared was a native, believed to be sea box (Alyxia buxifolia).

“It’s a bit of a mystery to us,” Mr Melzner said.

“What’s confusing is they have been targeting the native understory and not the introduced woody weeds and have also been neatly stockpiling it along the fire track to the north of the Marine Science Centre entrance.”

Mr Melzner said the council had contacted a range of agencies, local groups and council contractors, including Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula, the Friends of the Parnkalla Walking Trail and the Green Army among others and none were responsible for the clearing.

“This has not been initiated by council, Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula or any environmental groups that we are aware of.”

Mr Melzner said it would have taken days to clear the amount of vegetation that was piled up and the clearing appeared to have been going on over at least a few weeks with the pile added to again since the council first discovered it two weeks ago.

The council is hoping someone may have seen something that might help identify who is responsible or that whoever is responsible may come forward and explain their rationale.

Anyone with information about the illegal clearing is encouraged to contact the Port Lincoln City Council on 8621 2300.