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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

WWI memorial park study underway

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Lifelong Brunswick Heads local Darcy O'Meara walks among the historic cypress pines planted by WWI veterans in the southern section of The Terrace, which have been heavily pruned over the years much to locals' concern. Byron Shire Council is now undertaking a study of the park.
Lifelong Brunswick Heads local Darcy O’Meara walks among the historic cypress pines planted by WWI veterans in the southern section of The Terrace, which have been heavily pruned over the years much to locals’ concern. Byron Shire Council is now undertaking a study of the park.

A report is underway to determine the heritage significance of the Brunswick Heads WWI Memorial Park, according to Council staff.

The park is believed to have been planted by locals around 100 years ago, with each tree representing a fallen soldier.

But the protected Cypress Pines have seen some branches removed over the years the area operated as overflow to camping and residents complain of their poor health.

While it is located on Crown lands, it is managed by the North Coast Holiday Parks Trust, a state-run corporation.

Its CEO Steve Edmonds told resident Patricia Warren in a letter: ‘The World War I Memorial Pine Park has not been Gazetted as heritage and the minister recommended that Bryon Shire Council undertake its own study into any significance.

The Echo asked staff if there was a plan/date/budget for the study. Council’s director of sustainable environment and economy Shannon Burt told The Echo the World War 1 Memorial Pine Park has been referred to Council’s heritage advisor and a report is being completed to determine its heritage significance.

She said when finalised if required, it will be reported to Council and if required, sent to the Department of Planning and Heritage Office for consideration for heritage listing in the Local Environmental Plan.

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  1. The WW1 Cypress Pine Trees were brutally “pruned” in 2007 to enable the unauthorised and unwanted change of use and intensified use of the southern section of Terrace Reserve. Removing all lower limbs (below 10m), all other trees less than 3m tall and all the understorey and regrowth enabled large caravans and big vehicles to use the expanded area, previously restricted by BSC to “primitive camping” at Xmas & Easter only.

    Mr. O’Meara has spent the past two decades trying to protect the memorial park and trees from the gradual expansion of the caravan parks, initially from occasional use to every school holidays to 24/7 with huge mobile dwellings.

    CHPTs latest proposal is to move the riverbank residents into the area and transform our memorial park into a defacto housing estate.

    It is unbelievable Crown Lands is “unaware” of the heritage values which have been detailed in countless submissions over the years. It’s sad a WW1 avenue of trees needs to be heritage listed to be saved from the chainsaws.

    The Federal Govt is spending $100 million to construct a WW1 Memorial in France – while NSW Crown Lands managers have spent the past decade destroying our 100 year old Memorial trees in Brunswick Heads.


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