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Missing the base guitarist - sorry

9.30am today & the crowd had gathered to hear Federal Labor Grayndler MP & Transport Minister Anthony Albanese speak about the M5 4-lane highway that will now not happen.  About 130 people listened to local residents sing 4 songs about roads that no-one wants.  They were great & it was a terrific start to the meeting.

Bernie Hobbs of ABC TV & local resident was MC. A local Aboriginal elder & Tempe resident opened the meeting & welcomed us to Cadigal Country.  Pat McInerney of community group Tempe 2020 spoke about the campaign’s  history, the strong community support & the overwhelming opposition to the planned highway.  Marrickville Mayor Sam Iskandar spoke saying Marrickville Council had supported the community against this highway from

Left - Marrickville Mayor Sam Iskandar, middle - Federal MP Anthony Albanese, right - Bernie Hobbs, local resident & ABC TV presenter

the beginning.

Then Anthony Albanese MP addressed the crowd saying how it really was a road to nowhere & said something like – the more active the community was in opposing something the more they are likely to achieve their goals.  In essence, if the community comes together in a campaign, politicians listen.  This is important to remember.

Everyone was happy, including the Mayor & the Minister. Clrs Olive & O’Sullivan also attended as did Sam Byrne Greens Candidate for Grayndler & Pip Hinman, Socialist Alliance Candidate for Grayndler.  There may have been other political representatives, but I missed them.

Then people stuffed themselves on hot bbq sausages donated by a Tempe pub.  Thanks to Tempe 2020 & everyone else who sent in submissions, wrote letters & attended Tempe 2020 protest events to stop this highway.  Apart from the obvious horrendous impact this highway would have had on the community, the Wetlands, Tempe Reserve & a lot of mature trees both sides of the Cooks River have been saved. We are all richer for this.

I wrote about this issue & the impact to the environment in February 2010 –

local resident who wants more than just roads


Oh the power of community protests.  An article in today’s Inner West Courier said Federal Labor Grayndler MP & Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has ruled out any extension of the M5 which runs through Tempe Reserve saying, “the State & Federal Governments were “united” in opposing the RTA’s plan.”

This is a huge win for the community group Tempe 2020 & a huge win for all the trees & the Tempe Wetlands that would have been destroyed had the 4-lane highway gone ahead.

I wrote about the issue & the community protest here –

The University of Tasmania have just completed a 3 year nation-wide study as to why some people prefer a leafy front garden while others don’t. Interestingly, tertiary educated people preferred trees & the higher the  income, the more trees.

An unusual story of public tree removal in Newport:  The Cumberland Courier reported that an unspecified number of trees & scrub has been removed from Barenjoey Road by Pittwater Council. Residents requested the trees be removed saying the trees were not native & removing them would open up the area to ocean views from North Newport.

Pittwater Council’s Natural Environment Reference Group has submitted a plan to have all new DAs required to maintain wildlife corridors across their land. This would also include retaining dead trees, as these are especially important for providing homes for a variety of wildlife.  The new plan specifically targets the protection of Green-&-Gold Bell Frogs, Swift Parrots, Squirrel Gliders, Southern Brown Bandicoots & (would you believe they are even there) Koalas.  Any DA will also be required to plant more trees & wildlife sustaining landscaping.

Mid April 2010 North Sydney Council decided to explore the idea of replanting garden beds in parks & reserves with vegetables.

North Sydney Council stopped mowing verges early 2009, but after complaints from residents, they will now do a one-off mow at the cost of $58,000. They also intend to reinstate verge mowing by the end of 2010.

Just as an aside, I was told Marrickville Council spends about $2 million per year mowing our verges.  Makes me wonder what that that money could be used for if we just mowed our own & our neighbours if they didn’t have a mower.  $2 million could repair the Coptic Church in Sydenham for history’s sake & for community use or it could buy a lot of street & park trees amongst many other things. I saw a sign in Catherine Street Leichhardt yesterday that read something like – ‘2.3 million dollar footpath upgrade.’ Or we could just grow veggie or flower gardens on our verges.

Energy Australia has angered the community once again by ‘butchering’ 2 large trees in Allambie Heights shopping centre.

An 18 metre high Port Jackson Fig tree with a canopy spreading about 15 metres listed on the Significant Tree Register of City of Sydney Council was removed last month due to extensive rot.  It was part of a row of Figs in Joynton Aveneue Zetland.  The lost tree will be replaced by a mature Port Jackson Fig.

City of Sydney Council has joined with Marrickville Council in formally opposing the M5 extension that will go through Tempe Reserve, over Tempe Wetlands & terminate at Euston Road at Sydney Park. Terrific news.

It will be interesting to learn how the trial at removing smog in the M5 during March went.

A home up for sale in the Brisbane suburb of Mackenzie incurred $20,000 damage after the front garden was excavated & 10 Palm trees stripped down by unknown workers who fled when people came to watch.  It is thought they were working on the wrong property.

Finishing the ongoing story about the trees in the carpark of Walmart in Henderson Tennessee that were savagely pruned recently, Walmart have been ordered to replace 100 of the Elm trees. This will cost them around US$25,000.

row of trees along a footpath in Birchgrove



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