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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Brunswick Heads memorial trees ignored

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The May newsletter from NSW Holiday Parks Trust (NSWCHPT) gives a glowing account of their relationship with the community of Brunswick Heads.

But that’s a long way from the relationship between the general manager of North Coast Holiday Parks,  Jim Bolger (former accountant at Byron Shire Council) and his environmental manager, Russell Chaplin (formerly in charge of Myocum tip), with the same community.

In preparation for the recent Brunswick Heads Public School’s Anzac Day commemoration, NSWCHPT donated six Coastal Cypress Pines to be planted in the Terrace caravan park. The intent was to plant them in situ in preparation for the gradual replacement of the 103 extant WW1 Memorial Coastal Cypress Pines.

Bolger and Chaplin were having none of that. They wanted them planted well away from the area.

Of course, knowing full well these WW1 Memorial Pines are, as of 25 March 2015, listed on the National Trust of Australia register, such behaviour then begs the question what are they fearful of?

I strongly suspect that the failure in due diligence in the preparation of the plans of management for the Terrace caravan park in recognising any European Cultural Heritage (let alone any Aboriginal Cultural Heritage) is coming back to confront them.

This failing continues to be aggravated by their inability to put into practice an appropriate tree management strategy consistent with direction given by then minister Rob Stokes’ in his 22 February letter referring to these heritage pines.

In that letter he writes in support of ‘an appropriate methodology for the management of the trees into the future (including measures for tree replacement should this become necessary with age)’.

Alas, poor community relations continued when Bolger and Chaplin were asked to advise on what appears to be a dying Norfolk Pine in Banner Park.

In spite of the fact that ample time was given for them to make some sort of response, nothing was forthcoming to report to the June Brunswick Heads Progress Association meeting.

This is in spite of the fact that the state of the Norfolk Pine clearly indicates what looks like its slow demise has been happening for some time.

On any report card, the aforementioned instances merely reinforces the appalling reputation of those involved in the development plans for the foreshores of Brunswick Heads.

I’ll let the reader give them a mark out of 10 for their behaviour in fostering community relations.

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads


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