Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay
I was shocked to see the abundant exotic and hybrid plantings at Byron’s new bus interchange.
As Byron Council used to have a policy of planting local endemic species I checked their website in the hope that I could find a requirement that was being breached. I was disappointed to find that the idea of planting local species has apparently been expunged from Council’s planning.
I did find ‘endemic’ and ‘local provenance’ in the glossary to the new Biodiversity Strategy, though these were only relics from the past, as there is no mention of them in the text.
We are privileged to live in one of the world’s centres of endemism. We are endowed with over 1,500 local endemic plant species, though we have among them the most threatened with extinction in Australia because of past excessive clearing. The plants, in turn, support a plethora of other endemic species; we don’t even know the multitude of attendant microbes and fungi and how they interact.
So Council, how about restoring some of what we have lost and reinstating the rule that plantings in public places must be local endemic species? The bus interchange should be a place where we showcase local pride and a real concern for our environment by displaying some of our multitude of fantastic, attractive and unique plants for all the world to see, rather than another homogenised collection of foreigners.