Locals have every right to be highly suspicious of North Coast Accommodation Trust (NCAT) and its signing that the gum tree in Banner Park opposite the Brunswick Hotel is dangerous.
In March 2004, when Byron Shire Council had custodianship of the park, a development application was made to ‘remove’ the tree. A local petition against axing the tree was accepted by Council.
An arborist did the required remediation work and the tree continued much to the pleasure of the locals, including the corellas and lorikeets.
So why was remediation work acceptable then and not now?
Could it be because, on the eve of plans of management to be exhibited for the caravan parks and foreshore parklands, NCAT will be revisiting echoes of the 2010 plan for Banner Park?
Those plans, without the obligatory key that would be required of any primary or junior high school student, identified marked and labelled the area under the gum tree as a ‘play unit’.
Perhaps the offending tree needs to make way for the proposed non-decipherable structures?
Is signing the gum ‘dangerous’ a tactic to leverage fear, and justification to axe the tree to meet a development agenda?
Given NCAT’s track record in any matters dealing with the foreshores, I do not have one scintilla of trust or confidence in their allegations that the tree is dangerous.
Neither will I have until such time as an independent arborist produces a second opinion on the state of the gum tree and options for its future.
In the meantime a vigilant watch for the DA is needed after which people are encouraged to write submissions to Council to get that critical second opinion.
Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads