26.5 C
Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Historic Alstonville fig trees get reprieve

Latest News

Sally Flannery discovers dark side of ‘Lovemore’

Since declaring her interest in running for Lismore Council, local woman Sally Flannery has been subjected to sustained attacks, both online and upon her property.

Other News

Essential businesses recognised

A sticker initiative, to say ‘Thank you’ and support local retailers’ doing it tough is adorning Mullum shops, owing in part to efforts by resident Angela Bambach.

Sally Flannery discovers dark side of ‘Lovemore’

Since declaring her interest in running for Lismore Council, local woman Sally Flannery has been subjected to sustained attacks, both online and upon her property.

Lilac house bound by red tape

Mullumbimby resident Nicole Haberecht is facing a $3,000 fine and the prospect of repainting her house after Council made a demand that she change the colour after it was painted a shade of lilac.

Disguised junk mail

A Sinclair, Mullumbimby Does anyone know who is responsible for the thinly disguised bundles of junk mail that are now...

The return of the prodigal son

Gallery DownTown, the annexe of Tweed Regional Gallery, is presenting a new exhibition by regional artists.

Overcharging and misrepresentation

Josh Scrivener, Palmwoods Three weeks ago I looked online to buy a Bluesfest 2021 ticket. The Google ad directed me...

Alstonville resident Ian Cooke is fighting to save the fig trees.
Alstonville resident Ian Cooke is fighting to save the fig trees.

Darren Coyne

Alstonville resident Ian Cooke has managed to stop nine historic fig trees being chopped down … for now.

The trees, near Alstonville Public School and St Joseph’s Primary School, were set to be removed last week as part of a NSW Department of Education school tree safety campaign.

The campaign followed the death of Bridget Wright, 8, who was killed by a falling tree branch at Pitt Town public school, in Sydney’s west, in February.

Focus on the Alstonville trees intensified just days after the death when a branch from one of the trees narrowly missed a student and teacher.

And while a subsequent Department of Education-led investigation found they were unsafe, Mr Cooke’s legal action in the NSW Land and Environment Court has stalled the removal plans.

As a result, further investigations will be carried out on the trees to establish whether they are in fact dangerous.

Mr Cooke, a 74-year-old former student at Alstonville Public School, grew up playing in the trees that have been earmarked for the chop.

He is backed in his fight by numerous parents and teachers at the school, and a petition has been circulating.

It’s understood that the trees have twice been assessed by an arborist, with both reports recommending that the trees not be removed.

In the 2013 report, the risk of harm posed by the trees was assessed at one in 1.2 million while in a 2014 report by the same arborist, the risk was put at one in 62,000.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations to Mr Cooke, he is a hero! Children at more at risk each time they get in a car to be driven to school than from the remote risk of a falling branch. Should the school be closed down? The Department of Education are taking this to ridiculous extremes. I’m sure many of us remember celebrating Arbor Day at school – ‘A tree is a thing of beauty and a joy forever’. Please don’t deprive school students of this joy in an attempt to avoid a 1 in 1.2 million risk of a falling branch. Perhaps, if we assess all the 1 in 1.2 million potential risk possibilities, no-one should really ever get out of bed in the morning. I really hope sense will prevail and these beautiful trees will be preserved to bring joy to many more generations of students.

  2. Will we ever get over the Nanny State attitude to protect our children from everything that is fun?
    The real evil lurks elsewhere.

  3. Very good point you have raised Linda. If a child is injured or killed while being driven to school, do we place a ban on cars or banish them ? Of course not. It is life !!

  4. Great work Ian. Councils all over the state have been watching your campaign. I hope you have inspired many others. Well done.

  5. Linda, you echoed every sentiment as I read this article. I too, well remember the significance of celebrating Arbor Day at this school some 60 years ago – when common sense was regarded as ‘the norm’. And yes, Ian Cooke is my hero, too, for many more reasons than this – which are always totally selfless and immeasurably generous in spirit. Keep on fighting the good fight!

  6. Good on you Ian, thank god there’s still some common sense left in the country. Cutting down historic trees for 1in 1.2 million risk of a branch falling is crazy. Save the trees!

  7. A man without word, is not a man.
    A man with passion behind his voice is both engaging and sustainable.
    An environment without flora has already been located and named. – Nullabour

    There is a higher potential one of these students will be either a national bank manager or be rewarded a scholarship into university before an act of nature reoccurs, as sad as the original concern is.

    If I were to adopt the education dept methodology of risk assessment, I would have to Dettol bath every new girlfriend just because the ex gave me crabs. A little bit of wind doesn’t constitute Gastro as I say.

    [No, she really didn’t give me crabs…]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

SCU named as partner in two national drought hubs

Southern Cross University has been announced as playing a crucial partnership role in two new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs.

ALP puts war power reform on the agenda

The Australian Labor Party will hold a public inquiry into how Australia goes to war if elected to government next year.

Help from Red Cross for flood-affected communities in NSW

With disasters coming thick and fast as the climate emergency worsens, Australian Red Cross this morning launched financial help for flood-affected communities in NSW.

Rocky Creek Field Day coming in July

As part of the Rural Landholder Initiative, rural landholders in the Rocky Creek area are invited to an Off-stream Watering and Riparian Habitat Field Day.