Sunday 3 June 2012
“Newcastle City Council’s removal of a large Moreton Bay fig tree from Gregson Park today demonstrates that council management is determined to proceed with its large tree removal program without consulting either the community or the councillors who represent them” Therese Doyle, Ward 2 candidate for the Greens said today.
“The only lesson that council senior management has learned from the Laman Street figs fiasco is that they need to act quickly to remove any trees that don’t fit into their own plans for the city” Ms Doyle said.
“In a repeat of the destruction of Arthur Park figs in Adamstown, neighbouring residents were not consulted over the fate of these trees — senior management see themselves as the only arbiters of what is good for the city now.” Ms Doyle declared.
Ms Doyle pointed out that “while council administration insists that their decisions are based on ‘operational’ considerations, and therefore no business of the community or their representatives, they have treated with contempt all efforts from the community to consider alternative methods of dealing with the trees.”
“To add further insult to residents,” Ms Doyle said “the gigantic cranes, chainsaws and mulchers were moved into the park on a Saturday when families with children would normally be enjoying the parks’ refuge from the city.
“The current majority of elected council representatives have abrogated their responsibility towards the community in accepting administration’s control over such important decisions.
“We in the Newcastle Greens believe that decisions such as the future of major large trees in our parks that have cultural significance for residents should rest with the community and their representatives, not with the administration” said Ms Doyle.
“The Newcastle Greens team for the council elections in September believe that it is vital that local democracy is restored in the city. It is essential that the new council has an organisational culture that is genuinely committed to local democracy with a focus on active citizenship and public participation” Ms Doyle said.
“If Newcastle Council had a truly democratic structure we would not have to witness the terrible disharmony caused by the destruction of the Laman St figs, or” Ms Doyle added “would local residents have to defend the provisions of the Plan of Management of King Edward Park in the Land and Environment Court to prevent a gross overdevelopment of one of the city’s most iconic sites”
For more information or comment, contact Therese Doyle (Greens candidate for Newcastle Ward 2) on 0434 257 892