'WORST I'VE SEEN': 80 trees poisoned along Bay foreshore
DOZENS of trees along the Esplanade have been poisoned by a brazen vandal with a full intention of killing native fauna.
Heartbroken residents gathered at the site yesterday to find about 80 trees had been taken to with a drill and poison.
Environment councillor David Lewis described the vandalism as one of the worst cases he's ever seen.
Mant St resident and conservationist Peter Duck, who walks past the poisoned area daily, said he was disgusted by the illegal and irresponsible act.
"I take my two-year-old grandson down that boardwalk every afternoon," Mr Duck said.
"Those blue gums that were poisoned, they're only centimetres away from the boardwalk, and to kill a blue gum, it's got to be herbicide which is residual and quite potent."
It comes less than a year after a a Hervey Bay resident was forced to compensate council $20,000 after reaching an out-of-court settlement for using herbicide to poison trees.
Council Environmental Technical Officer Gerry Vanderlee said the mature eucalypts were killed by a poison injection drilled into the trunks.
"It would take some doing, it was probably several hours of work and effort dragging the knapsack up and down the slope.
Cr Lewis said it was hard to escape the conclusion the trees were poisoned to enhance the view of the bay.
"While people on the Esplanade may pay higher rates, they do get a very nice outlook, not withstanding some of it is vegetation, some of it is sea views, but they don't own the Esplanade," Cr Lewis said.