Sunday 23 December 2007

Council are out of their tree

Fiona Tulip, president of the Combined Beaches Community Association writes about a Council, a "diseased tree", and some silly decisions.
All we can say is look out Port Douglas after the March local body election if this mob stay in.

An issue arose recently that probably shouldn’t have!

A large Melaleuca tree on the corner of French Street and Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove was advertised by Cairns City Council as possibly being diseased (read here…. and ‘may have to be removed’).

Well, once the word got out, everyone was incredulous that such an iconic tree, possibly more than 300 years old, would be for the chopping block.

I personally went down and inspected the tree. Not a dead leaf to be seen, let alone a dead limb or any sign of disease! I could see however, that the extensive drainage works for the street were going to be on all sides of this tree and in reasonable proximity to the tree.

Was the tree really diseased or was the tree being promoted as being diseased for convenience purposes?Which brings me to my point about the Council not having a current and properly maintained ‘Significant Tree Register’. The Council does have Local Law 24 (Vegetation Protection), a “misnomer” if ever there was because in reality, it doesn’t protect.

One can make application to protect a tree or particular vegetation but even if it is granted, it will still be at risk under Section 22 “exemptions.” As we saw recently with the planning for drainage works at Palm Cove and on other construction sites, this law is no where in sight so perhaps it is just another policy that lives in the Mayor’s bottom desk draw!

A Magnificent Tree indeed

After the initial claim was made that this tree might be removed, Palm Cove traders and residents alike were dismayed that this might even be considered. An article in the Cairns Post saying the tree had been given a clean bill of health was in fact the journalists words, not Cr Bonneau’s.

The Combined Beaches Community Association followed up with the Councillor to clarify and obtain in writing a guarantee the tree would be retained, only to receive a reply stating that no such guarantee had been given and the tree’s fate was still very much in dispute.

During this process CBCA had engaged one of Australia’s leading tree surgeons in preparation to counter any claims of disease by Council. The surgeon said that there was no doubt that this tree was standing when Captain Cook sailed by and he would be more than happy to have this monstrous tree standing next to his home.

Thank goodness common sense prevailed.

The Association will endeavour to see that this great tree is “listed” somewhere in Council.


Anonymous said...

Well I certainly hope that this tree will be left in. Despite council wanting to remove it for a drain. But, this council have been known to do underhanded things and come in in the middle of the night and accidently knock things over.

Anonymous said...

What ridiculous comments, first from Mr Moore and then Paul-Edmonton. Both totally without fact or substance.
I know this tree, I know the drain and I know the processes that Council went through before any work was done in French Close.
After a diseased branch fell from a melaleuca and injured a diner on Williams Esplanade a couple of years ago, Council undertook a survey of the 85 Melaleucas growing on road reserve. Two separate firms using qualified Arborists did a number of tests on all 85 trees.
Resistivity tests (involving taking core samples) were done. Ten trees were found to be in structurally compromised. Four were noted to be extremely hazardous and (after public notification) they were removed. No comments were received from the public.
The other six trees are being monitored.
One of these 6 trees is the tree at the entrance to French Close. It has a leader trunk (north) that has hollow areas near the base.
Because of the weakened nature of this tree a further test was done using 3D sonar monitoring.
This test showed that the tree still has just sufficient strength to justify some risk management.
The drain was diverted as designed and shown on the drain plans drawn up 2 years ago.
Mr Moore, should this leader trunk decide that it's just not strong enough to support itself any more, and decide to crash down on top of you, please think long and hard before running of to a lawyer.
I mean, isn't Council supposed to provide you with a safe environment to walk along ?

Anonymous said...

What a silly reply from the mayor's bum boy. Thinks they enage with our commmunity... huh!!!?? They don't know the meaning of the word and come March next year Quick and Co will be off to Russia with Byrne to sale some whales from an oil slick.. hopefully never to be seen again in our village.

Anonymous said...

So FatMan (aka Quick as a Dog on Heat) seems to know all the 'facts' about trees at Palm Cove... too much it seems... and for every tree they think they've saved, they knocked anothr 100 down for another gated apartment cpomplex.. stoopid buggers ... do they think we don't know what they're up to?

Anonymous said...

Factman... didn't you read the story? it was from the CBCA, not Michael Moore. You can't read, nor get your own facts in order you creep.

Anonymous said...

OK it was from CBCA but ...
"posted by Mike Moore"
I presume if he posts it, he agrees with it.
And ...
I am not Dennis Quick.
I am someone who "knows the facts".
And if this blog wants to continually bag KB and his hard working Council officers, then you are going to have to put up with me.
I speak the "facts" because I do not make up these stories.
I hope Mr Moore allows me to continue to publish a more meaningful point of view than the hysterical anti Byrne tripe that too ofter pervades this blog.