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Feasting Lorikeets

1. The Newcastle community have taken the axing of the Laman Street Figs to the Land & Environment Court today.  In their favour is the Arborist’s Report prepared by Mark Hartley.  Mr Hartley assessed the trees as not dangerous & had serious concerns with several mistakes in previous Reports supplied by Newcastle Council.  I hope the community win. You can read about the decision & the Independent Arborist Report here –

2. In a great move to support Wolli Creek being established as a national park, Canterbury Council have agreed to transfer part of the Wolli Creek bushland at Earlwood to the National Parks & Wildlife Service.  The land is between Bexley Rd & Waterworth Park.

3. Large amounts of Eucalypts are dying across Australia & it is thought to be caused by Bell Miner Associated Dieback. One little bird guarding the psyllid, a sap-sucking native insect that provides food for the Bell Miner is thought to be responsible in some areas.  In New South Wales alone, up to 2.5 million hectares of forest are wasting away. Another theory published in 1968 by ecologist William Jackson of the University of Tasmania & regaining favour is that the Australian bush needs regular bushfires to survive. Interesting reading.

4. Frightening results in a recent survey about climate change of local, state & federal Australian politicians conducted by the University of Queensland.  Of the 300 politicians surveyed, nearly 70% believed anthropogenic climate change was real, but “more than 40% thought a temperature rise of 4 degrees would be safe.” Scary stuff as these people are making decisions for all of us.

5.  2 Fig trees were to be removed in Kensington by the City of Perth Council without community consultation. The Council said the trees were damaging the footpath & could affect fibre-optic cables. Well roads can be fixed, so can footpaths & fear that a tree may damage underground cables is a pretty poor excuse to remove the Fig trees.  I wish Councils would use floating or permeable footpaths to allow them to keep trees. These trees would far outweigh any concrete or bitumen in value & benefits to the community. It’s that old way of thinking again, rip out a tree-it’s the easiest route. The City of Perth Council will now do community consultation about these trees.

6. By contrast, Brisbane City Council ordered a redesign of the $10.2 million Perry Park upgrade to save a row of Fig trees.
A spokesman said council policy was to retain “mature, healthy trees” where possible. In QLD, trees & street landscaping is everywhere & is wonderful.
 It really looks like a different country. Loud applause from me.

7. A row of 14 old, ‘ulgy’ & ‘past their use by date’ Nicolai gum trees along Chiefly Road Lithgow will likely have been chopped down by now.  Lithgow Council said “the trees had been inappropriately pruned in past years by electricity authorities.” I’ve no doubt that this approach to Lithgow looked old & ulgly. Shame it happened in the first place. I wonder when this cycle of tree management will end.

8. A report done by the WA Environment Protection Authority said “declining rainfall & rising temperatures were taking a heavy toll on parts of the 1.2 million hectare state forest area south of Perth.” Paul Vogel, the head of the Environment Protection Authority said there was “more biodiversity per square metre in some of these forests than there is in the Amazon.” The Conservation Council, WA Forest Alliance & Wilderness Society want clearing & logging stopped immediately in affected areas. 850,000 hectares of WA state forest is available for logging, however, the current management plan is deemed severely lacking.

Grevillea flowers


1.  Professor Nigel Tapper of Monash University, a speaker addressing the National Tree Symposium at Adelaide University of Adelaide said urban trees actually save lives during heatwaves. Treenet Director David Lawry spoke about stormwater being diverted from the gutter to street trees. A test is being done in Unley Adelaide to measure its affectiveness. …the devices could deliver up to 400 litres of water directly to trees during moderate rain, resulting in healthier trees, more comfortable urban environments & less stormwater getting to waterways & the sea. To me it makes absolute sense to channel rainwater from the gutter into the area around the street tree. To achieve this is quite simple & only requires a remodeling of the kerb.

The National Tree Symposium also discovered that proposed changes by the South Australian government to significant tree regulations will leave a large amount of existing trees unprotected by the equivalent of a Significant Tree Register.

2.  Darwin has a tree emergency on its hands with between 60-70 large Weeping Rosewood trees showing symptoms of fusarium wilt (a fungal disease not indigenous to Australia), which spreads by spores in the soil.  If this is the case, Darwin could lose thousands of trees within the coming decade.

3.  The ACT’s Council, the Department of Territory & Municipal Services has been ordered to improve upon their policy & procedures of public tree removal by becoming more transparent & accountable to the community. 20 – 40% of the ACTs 630,000 park & street trees are expected to be axed within the next 20 years.  I’d be very busy if I lived there.

Heading down to the Cooks River

winter trees along the Cooks River

Conservation group Bat Advocacy with funding from Humane Society International is taking Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens Trust to the Federal Court to contest Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s decision to allow the bats to be dispersed using noise. I had not realized that permission was given for the noise dispersion to occur for the next 20 years.

The Royal Botanic Gardens Trust recently announced that the relocation, expected to start in July, has been postponed until next year, because of the inability to tag enough flying foxes. Dr Tim Entwisle, the executive director of the Botanic Gardens Trust, said many of the bats were too underweight to tag. Bats are also starving all over Australia & leaving QLD & flying as far as Adelaide & Tasmania in the search for food.

Up to 7,000 grey-headed flying foxes, a threatened species in NSW, have moved in to Parramatta Park along the banks of Parramatta River. They have come to this location due to severe food shortages in their usual habitat.  I hope Parramatta Council don’t decide to use dispersion or chop the trees down.

Adjunct Professor at Charles Sturt & Sydney universities, Professor David Gloldney has been employed by Orange City Council to look at ways of preventing flying foxes returning to central western NSW. He says so far he has been looking at the legal implications of the recent arrival of the grey-headed flying foxes. “To look at the various acts under the National Parks and Wildlife and DECCW [the Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water] & the Federal Government’s Endangered Species Act.”

Yet more critically endangered Cumberland Plain & endangered shale transition forest woodland is at risk of development in Kellyville. Hills Shire Council wants to clear 10 hectares of its own woodland at Withers Rd Kellyville despite massive community opposition. They have applied for a State Government BioBanking Agreement that would allow it  the Council to clear this land in return for protecting land somewhere else.  The community met a fortnight ago as part of Council’s community consultation.

Wyong Council has directed that all gardens around caravans & mobile homes be removed in all caravan parks in Budgewoi, Canton Beach, Norah Head & Toowoon Bay. Another win for the fans of concrete.



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