Westray's grave site vandalism

Issued: 28 Jul 2022

Photo of rangers using a staghorn fern and birds nest fern to cover the vandalism.Open larger image

Rangers used a staghorn fern and birds nest fern to cover the vandalism.

Photo of rangers repairing the environmental vandalism with ferns which they spent hours doing.Open larger image

Rangers spent hours repairing the environmental vandalism.

A 10-kilogram staghorn fern and birds nest ferns have been used to conceal environmental vandalism at Westray’s grave site in Lamington National Park.

Rangers from the Department of Environment and Science recently conducted the rehabilitation works which had hidden inappropriate words and numbers that were carved into several trees.

A man was fined $551 after admitting to the environmental vandalism.

Ranger in Charge Wil Buch said it took several hours to repair the environmental vandalism, which was among the worst rangers had seen.

“Ranger Jackson had to carry the staghorn fern for 90 minutes up the creek to Westray’s grave site,” Mr Buch said.

“The staghorn fern was used to cover the worst of the environmental vandalism and we used birds nest ferns taken from fallen trees at the site to cover the rest.

“The ferns were fastened to the trees using strapping and screws, and they will eventually fix themselves naturally to the trees.

“I have never had to cover up major damage such as these etchings in the tree, which is a white booyong tree estimated to be about 500 years old.

“Disappointingly, the palm trees that were damaged have died as the active growing point was removed.

“Thankfully there are plenty of palm trees in the vicinity that will throw their seeds and new trees will naturally grow.

“During the repair weeks, there was an incredibly positive vibe among the rangers that we were doing something good, and a lot of satisfaction that we were hiding the vandalism.”

Environmental vandalism in any of Queensland’s national parks is extremely disappointing, and anyone with information is urged to called QPWS on 1300 130 372.

Photos of the repairs are available in our media centre.