BEECHWORTH Treescape Group chair Jean Henderson has described the destruction of state-listed, centuries-old brittle gum by Mayday Hills’ developers George Fendyk and Geoff Lucas as “an act of deliberate environmental vandalism”.
Heritage Victoria is investigating the incident, with enforcement officers visiting Beechworth last week to inspect the damage and meet with Indigo officers and Mr Fendyk.
A decision about whether or not to prosecute has not yet been made.
Mr Fendyk has defended removal of the tree – a specimen of Eucalyptus mannifera subsp. mannifera – and another of a eucalypt species by claiming they were only 60 years old and riddled with termites.
But the brittle gum, which stood below Mayday Hills asylum’s former morgue on the townside boundary of ‘Mayday Village’, as Mr Fendyk and Mr Lucas call it, is estimated to have been more than 200 years old.