Illawarra Flame tree – currently a blaze of red in Illawarra Road Marrickville

This was the Council Meeting. Absent: Clr Hanna.  The Councillors & Wards are as follows – LABOR:  Iskandar/Central, Haylen/North, Tsardoulias/West, Woods/South. GREENS:  Phillips/Central, Ellsmore/North, Brooks/West, Leary/South.  LIBERALS: Gardener/North, Tyler/West INDEPENDENT:  Macri/Central, Hanna/South. The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.

Notice of Motion Memorial tree – Clr Phillips:Request for a tree to be planted, (no plaque & the cost borne by the family) in Enmore TAFE Park in memory of a recently deceased individual who was raised in the area & a report be prepared providing options to formulate a policy to accommodate any future requests for memorial plaques or structures within the Marrickville LGA.

I spoke for the motion:  I was contacted by the family after they did not receive a response from Council. Their only son & brother died in his mid thirties & the family would like to have a nice tree planted in Enmore TAFE Park because he grew up in Simmons Street & went to this park pretty much every day of his life. They do not want a plaque.  They just want to have a beautiful living tree planted as a way to express love & pay tribute to their son & brother.  I do not think this is too much to ask.  Marrickville Council would be in control.  Council will choose the tree & plant it. The family will pay all costs.  I realize there may be some fear that Marrickville LGA might become like a cemetery, but if there were no plaques, nothing to say the tree concerns a dead person, how would this be so?  People & the environment will benefit by more trees planted & Council will also benefit by not having to pay for this.  I firmly believe that Marrickville Council should be following the lead of other nearby Councils by having an option for the community to pay for a memorial tree or park bench.  Sydney Council, Leichhardt Council, Canterbury Council & Burwood Council – all allow memorial trees & benches.  It’s in your business paper.  Almost every week I sit on a memorial bench with a small brass plaque that Canterbury Council has placed overlooking the Cup & Saucer Creek Wetlands.   It doesn’t make me feel sad.  Yet if I walk from Mackey Park to Steel Park, there is nowhere to sit.  This is hard for older people or people who are not well.  No park bench means they don’t even attempt the walk.  If Council can’t afford park benches, then please allow the community to pay for them. Council still keeps control so there should be no problem.  However, tonight I am asking that you allow the Bishop family to honour their son & brother by letting them to pay for a lovely tree to be planted in Enmore TAFE Park.  It would make a grieving family very happy & it is the right thing to do.

Clr Phillips: I was informed that MC doesn’t have a policy & that I should take a Notice of Motion.  It would mean a lot to the family.  For the second part – MC to prepare a policy so staff can have guidance so these don’t have to come to a Council Meeting.  I think MC should have a policy.

No debate. Vote – unanimous on both this tree & a policy to be created. Here ends the report for this week.