Geraghty Park Trees
Sun, 16 Aug 1998 17:05:58 +1000 (EST)
The following statement is from Lloyd Nielsen:
I must thank all who rallied so quickly to our plea for help to try to save
the trees in Geraghty Park, Julatten. The response was incredible with
support from as far away as USA, England and Japan.
The battle is not over. At the meeting on 13 August the Council maintained
it's ground and only after much badgering did we manage to get a half
hearted promise from the Mayor for a stay of execution. The matter will be
raised again at a Council meeting on Tuesday the 18th.
Almost 60 local people attended the meeting - the largest for a long time at
the little Julatten community. With the exception of one person, all voted
stenuously to retain the trees. And you guessed it - the lone dissenter was
the local councillor (supposedly our elected representative!) who still
tried to push his case to have the trees taken down, to a hostile audience.
(This we call "Democracy Deep North Style").
Prior to the meeting we obtained an independent report on the trees from a
highly qualified consultant who worked for many years on dieback and
defoliation of this and other Eucalyptus species. His report was at complete
odds with that from the Council's own Environmental Officer (who has no
formal qualifications). Our man found that the trees are in prime health.
Defoliation earlier in the year was due to a severe attack by Scarab Beetles
(most of which bred in the Councillor's cow paddock across the road) - the
Council's Environmental Officer's report stated the defoliation was from
"advanced stages of physiological decline"! (I wonder how he explains their
present state of good health).
On the subject of the local councillor, I believe people were exposed to
some Deep North style culture when this man actually rang them, apparently
rather abusively, stating the Council intended taking only 6 trees down out
of 170 trees (which surely must include some of the shrubs Council have
planted). He said that there were no birds using these trees anyway. He
knows absolutly nothing about birds.
The facts are - 9 old growth trees stand in the park, all with hollows. Six
of these are those marked for removal and are the principal trees which the
birds use for breeding. There are approximately 51 young Blue Gums scattered
amongst the old growth trees, with bases from about 20 cm to 50 cm in
diameter. These are obviously seedlings from the old growth trees. Mowing
has destroyed smaller seedlings. There are about 11 other Eucalypts and
smaller rainforest trees amongst these trees. Stating Council only want to
take 6 trees is blatantly deceptive and dishonest.
Residents have vowed that if the tree felling company arrives to take the
trees down, 60 vehicles will be parked near the trees to stop the felling.
However, we are worried that it may happen during the dark hours of early
morning. It wouldn't be the first time it has happened in Queensland!
We will keep you posted on the outcome of Tuesday's meeting. Thank you again
for your support. It is so heartening to know we have a huge number of
friends out there.
>From the Deep North
PS You may ask why we do not vote this guy out. Unfortunately, the Mareeba
Shire abolished divisional representation some time ago and the 8 candidates
who obtain the most votes within the shire are elected to the council(plus a
Mayor). This fellow has enough support in the town of Mareeba to scrape past
Moral of the story is: Do not allow your local government body to abolish
PPS Very latest is that two Councillors have made their intentions known
they will oppose the cutting of the trees! Three to go!
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Chris Dahlberg <=
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