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Byron Shire
July 27, 2021

Work stops on Lennox fig as birds’ nest found

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A duck in the Lennox fig tree that alerted protesters to a nest, which has halted demolition of the tree. Photo Castle Drive Fig Protectors/ Facebook

Update, 3pm: A brief statement has been received from Ballina Shire Council regarding the discovery of the nest.

‘The removal of the Fig Tree at Castle Drive, Lennox Head has been suspended after the discovery of a duck nest,’ it reads.

‘Despite previous examinations before the commencement of works, a nest has been uncovered deep within the tree.

‘Council is consulting with National Parks and Wildlife Service to determine the preferred way forward.

‘Arborists have confirmed the tree can remain in its current condition and is not a public safety risk while the investigation into managing the duck nest is completed,’ the statement concludes.

Original report: Work has again been stopped on Ballina Shire Council’s demolition of a Moreton Bay fig tree on Castle Drive, Lennox Head, after a nest of duck eggs were found in a tree hollow this morning.

The tree is being removed after council’s insurer refused to insure the tree further after a payout to owners of an adjoining property for cracking caused by its roots.

Local John Sparkes told Echonetdaily that when he arrived at the tree this morning, ‘a pair of ducks were flying around the tree, as they always do, and they appeared to be paying attention to one particular branch’.

Mr Sparkes said a cherry picker was brought in and a nest in a tree hollow with a clutch of eight eggs in it had been found.

He said work had been stopped and both Wires and the National Parks & Wildlife Service had been called.

‘It is up to them to determine what happens to the eggs. We are hoping they will delay any further work on the tree until they hatch in six weeks or so.’

He added ‘and that’s just one hollow; there appear to be about 20 hollows in the old tree so who knows what else they will find.’

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Why haven’t the council contact another insurer?

    Surely if that particular insurer is being problematic, other insurers can be contacted.

    More must be done, its just not good enough.

    • …most especially when good advice has been given about the efficacy of a root barrier, so no more cracking or damage will occur. Why has this advice been ignored, resulting in a most distressing and uneccessary removal of this beautiful old landmark tree. Why is the decision always about money and why is emotion, empathy and compassion ridiculed as “bleeding heart” politics. A good and caring society values responses of the heart as more important than just the practical.”money saving”responses so often had. This tree has more than earned it’s right to continue to live and provide shelter for other creatures as well as the joy it brings to humans.

  2. Whole episode is another reason to be very un-proud of Australia. I’ll refuse to vote yet again as there isn’t a party that represents my beliefs in doing the right thing and who cares about a few more dollars in insurance, whatever, etc, etc, etc.
    Fear, fear, fear, so much for brave Aussies (save a few) , more cowering masses, more unjust and unequal laws, more Police State, more gutless decisions by people in power.

  3. I dispair for and about this world I will shortly leave (like our beautiful fig tree)! That fig tree is another example of our local councils not representing its own citizens real needs!. Just a very few years ago, Tweed Council allowed the destruction of three huge Norfolk Pines planted about the same year I was born, 80 years ago in 1937! Tweed Shire Council ignored the protests of their own local greens councillor Katie Milne, and the local progress Hastings Point association, and a allowed a very recent remotely living holiday home owner to chop down those beautiful healthy pines standing high on the Hastings Point headland. They are much missed and formerly used for years as a prominent navigation mark to yachtsmen, to be demolished because the older pines needles made loud noises as they naturally dropped onto corrugated iron roof of his recently built house roof, and with one tree only of the three ancient trees now located too close to comply with current regulations! So all three were cut down without a whimper of protest by Tweed Shire Council (in spite of protests)!

    I daren’t ask why Tweed Council failed to properly investigate the protests they received, from both residents and an elected councillor????!!!!

  4. Yea,ducks can do what people cannot.They have made the sneaky decision makers look like a goose.200yr old tree,,V 100?yr old house, how on earth can it be the trees fault?Was the tree there when you bought or built the house? You bet your ass it was.Next thing one can sue that the salt air is corroding things.No personal responsibility,only public liability. It’s not my fault.

  5. Shame on the council for caving in because the insurer spits the dummy!
    Shame to remove such a majestic presence and home to so much wildlife/birdlife in the street when a root barrier will prevent more problems.
    And shame that no notice is taken of the community’s wishes….as usual, it seems, in Australia.

  6. The tree was planted LONG before the homes were built – solution simple – do not allow people to build so close to iconic, historical trees of both community value and critter habitat.

    People problem…..not the trees!

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