The camphor laurel approved for removal by the council.
The camphor laurel approved for removal by the council.

One will go in Church St upgrade

THE debate over the Church St upgrade again proved lively at the Bellingen Shire Council meeting on Wednesday.

Among a number of recommendations related to the removal of camphor laurel trees, two options were considered.

Option 1 gave priority to removing the camphor laurel in front of the courthouse while Option 2 meant both this tree and the one opposite would be removed in the first stages of the upgrade.

The choice divided councillors.

Councillor David Scott called for a revisiting of the master plan and was backed by Cr Ian Coe.

Cr Bruce Cronin expressed a preference for Option 2 and while Cr Kerry Child and Cr Sean Tuohy agreed with Cr Cronin, they raised concerns over the additional $52,000 of funds needed.

Cr Child said she would like to see both trees removed but had cost concerns.

“The only thing holding me back from Option 2 is the funding hole and we don’t know how much remedial work is needed,” she said.

In the end councillors Child, Cronin and Tuohy voted for the adoption of Option 1. With the backing of mayor Mark Troy the motion passed and they moved to explore external funding for completion of the master plan.

Cr Braithwaite was against removing any of the trees, a view shared by local resident Maggie Porter.

“We have found this process incredibly de-motivating and disappointing and hope there is room for consideration, even to save one tree,” Ms Porter said.



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