I was shocked to read that power company Essential Energy wants to chop down some very significant trees in Gilgandra NSW to install a new power line route from Gilgandra to Dubbo.

The trees affected are rare Fuzzy Box trees aged between 150-200 years, of which there are “less than 50 hectares of Fuzzy Box protected in the world.” 

Also on the removal list is an Aboriginal scar tree & ‘Wheat Carter’s Tree,’ which is culturally significant to the town.

“Residents have bemoaned the lack of appropriate community consultation & believe the problem could be resolved by moving the proposed pole around the tree.”

Gilgandra Shire Council had “decided to wash their hands of it.”

To their credit Essential Energy is consulting with the Gilgandra Aboriginal Lands Council as well as the Office of Environment & Heritage regarding two of the trees “identified as having potential cultural significance.”

I have a strong belief that Aboriginal scar trees, rare trees & historic trees belong to the whole of Australia, not just one town, city or state.  Significant trees link us all with our past & with the environment.  Many thousands of people travel around Australia to see historic trees or special environmental landscapes every year.

When the two ghost gums painted by famed artist Albert Namatjira were burnt down by vandals in January 2013, many across Australia, & indeed the world, grieved at their senseless loss.  Most Australians would not have visited the Murray River to see the River Red Gums, but ask them whether they care about them, most will say yes. It is the same with the Daintree Forest in Far North Queensland.

We care about Tasmania’s Huon pines, the Tarkine, the Wollemi pines north-west of Sydney hidden away to keep them safe & the ancient Jarrah trees of Western Australia to name just a few.

We may not have heard of the ‘Wheat Carter’s Tree,’ but most likely visitors to Gilgandra would go & visit that tree & the Tourist Information Office would recommend they do because it is a landmark tree & part of the town’s history.  Trees are part of Australia’s cultural heritage & are important to many.

Sure, people who don’t care about trees wouldn’t blink an eyelid if any of these historical or rare trees were chopped down or even made extinct, but there are many of us who feel connected to trees & want to keep the special ones.  There must be something else that can be done.  I applaud those residents who are trying to save Gilgandra’s special trees & hope that they are successful in saving these trees. To read more see –