Following concerns raised by resident Matthew O’Reilly over expansion plans at the Tyagarah Airfield, Byron Shire Council staff have confirmed ‘selective tree removal’ is being conducted at the site.
Council’s open space and resource recovery manager Michael Matthews said, ‘About 560 trees have been identified as encroaching on the Obstacle Limitation Surface of the airfield within the space needed to provide safe aircraft approaches for take-off and landing.’
‘It is not land clearing. Stage one of the program within the maintenance zone of the facility included 214 trees of which half have been removed and half pruned.
‘Out of these, eight were confirmed as koala-food trees four of which were removed and four pruned.
‘No koala-feed trees have been selectively treated within the primary Koala habitat.
One tree saved
‘And one tree scheduled for removal was excluded from the works owing to a bird nest sited within the canopy.’
Mr Matthews added a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) was completed for the stage-one works and will also be completed for stage two.
While Mr O’Reilly claims that the cost of upgrading the airfield is high and the potential returns low, the mayor told The Echo, ‘it’s not a money-making exercise; it’s about safety and we are required to do it.’
‘There was nearly a serious accident there around ten years ago,’ the mayor said.