Bellingen’s Church St revamp begins with the removal of a camphor laurel tree.
Bellingen’s Church St revamp begins with the removal of a camphor laurel tree.

Council fact sheet to be removed

THE camphor laurel on the eastern side of Church Street in Bellingen is due to be removed in May, subject to weather and contractor availability.

In response to the numerous questions received, Bellingen Shire Council has put together a fact sheet about the Church Street Revitalisation Project, with information about the controversial tree removal.

Here are abbreviated answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

Will the council release the details of the contractor engaged to do the work?

No. Under the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act an employer must ensure that people are not exposed to risks to their health or safety. Con-

sidering the threatened actions of civil unrest, a risk exists to the health and safety of the contractor. Releasing details about the contractor would place the council in breach of the act.

What does the estimated $70,000 cost cover?

This money covers the cost of the tree’s removal (arborist, crane, excavation, traffic control) plus the costs of rehabilitating the site, which includes base materials, kerb and gutter, and of course tree planting. Documents related to the project’s works and traffic management plans are in their final development stages with the council’s Department of Planning.

What is the council’s process for engaging with the community?

Regular meetings are held between a council representative and the chamber of commerce and local business operators. All have been consulted regarding the tree removal process.

Will there be a need for police involvement?

Given the council has been advised of intended civil unrest by some members of the community, to ensure community and worker safety on and around the site, the council must liaise with the NSW police.

The office of the NSW Ombudsman is also aware of the issue.

The fact sheet also includes information about what the council is doing about the management of camphor laurels shire-wide, away from the Church Street hot spot.

For the full version of this document, and also the link to vote on what trees should

replace the camphors go to www.bellingen.nsw.gov.au.

Voting for the replacement trees closes on May 11.



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