A cropped image showing a man ringbarking a native she-oak in the Big 4 Park Beach caravan park.
A cropped image showing a man ringbarking a native she-oak in the Big 4 Park Beach caravan park.

The axeman payeth: Mystery man opens his wallet

ONE man's foray into life as a lumberjack has ended in some financial pain.

The person responsible for ringbarking a mature she oak inside the grounds of a council-run caravan park has been identified and will now have to fork out for its removal.

Coffs Harbour Council confirmed it had investigateed the matter after a neighbour witnessed - and photographed - the man use an axe to damage the tree in broad daylight.

"Council has completed an investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the reported matter," a council spokesperson said.

"The responsible party has agreed to pay for the removal of the damaged trees and compensatory planting."

Who the responsible party is or why he did it has not been revealed, though there has been some suggestion he is a permanent resident of the Big 4 Park Beach Caravan Park.

At the time, Ken Nethercott who saw the incident take place, described it as "wanton vandalism", more often associated with adolescent kids.

"Most vandalism you associate with younger generations but here is this guy, who has obviously had a full life, still going out destroying things," he said.


AXE ATTACK: Witness describes 'bizarre' incident

It was by complete accident that Mr Nethercott was able to get clear photographs of the "bizarre" occurrence - he happened to be testing out some camera equipment.

That accident may well help land him a cool $5,000 as council has said in the past there is a reward for information leading to the conviction of people who destroy trees on public land.

While council declined to confirm whether that might apply in this case, they directed the Coffs Coast Advocate to their Vandalism Policy which does provide an incentive for people to report.

"Council is committed to addressing damage by vandals to, and graffiti vandalism attacks on,

community property by ... paying a reward of up to a maximum of $5,000 to any person who supplies information which leads to the conviction of any person who committed an act of vandalism in respect of Council controlled property," the policy states.