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Thieves target Broome’s tropical gardens for exotic plants

Thieves target Broome’s tropical gardens for exotic plants
December 17, 2016

Plant thefts are costing Shire of Broome ratepayers thousands of dollars a year and leaving gardens pockmarked with holes.

The resort town in the north of Western Australia, known for its lush tropical resort gardens, is struggling with an increase in plants being stolen, with an ABC report suggesting that a horticultural black market many be operating.

Shire of Broome Infrastructure Operations Manager Bevan Klein told the ABC “the Shire has lost a significant number of plants from the open spaces this year, mainly from roundabouts and parks.

"In a monetary value, probably up to $7,000 or $8,000 worth of plants in the last few years …  the number is really alarming.

"What appears to be happening is people just pull up at the side of a garden and just pull the plants out and take them away, and we're left with a hole in the ground."

WA Police Senior Sergeant Brendan Barwick said there had been four cases of plant theft reported in the last six weeks, including the removal of $2,000 worth of croton plants from a commercial property in the lead-up to Christmas.

Senior Sergeant Barwick stated “it's during the dark hours they're being taken, both from newly-built houses, newly landscapes gardens, and also from commercial properties.

"It's a considerable amount of property being stolen - probably more plants stolen cost-wise than what's being taken in burglaries, so while it may not appear to be a serious offence, we certainly take it seriously and it's a focus for us."

Senior Sergeant Barwick said it was difficult to know how many of the palms and shrubs were being replanted in people's yards and how many were being resold.

He advised that officers were monitoring local buy and sell pages on social media to try to intercept stolen plants being on-sold.

Senior Sergeant Barwick urged residents who notice anything unusual to contact Police, concluding “if they see a new garden pop up all of a sudden and think 'that's a bit suspicious' then let us know.”

Image: Shire of Broome staff Jane Gillmore and Philip Wetton show where plants were stolen from a garden bed. (Courtesy Shire of Broome).

17th October 2016 - WORK UNDERWAY ON UPGRADE TO BROOME RECREATION AND AQUATIC CENTRE

28th July 2016 - WESTERN AUSTRALIAN SPORT AND RECREATION INDUSTRY AWARDS RECOGNISE BEST OF THE BEST 

2nd August 2013 - ACT PARKS AND CONSERVATION ‘BLITZ’ NATIONAL PARK VANDALISM

6th June 2013 - VANDALS DESTROY RARE CACTI IN MELBOURNE’S ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS

11th April 2011 - BROOME SEEKS NAMES FOR SPORTING FACILITIES


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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