Rally on Church Street
THE groundswell of opposition to the proposed removal of the four camphor laurels from Church Street, Bellingen, is gaining momentum.
Passionate supporters of the trees are organising a rally to take place in the town next Friday.
Among them is Ziggy Koenigseder, who lives in the town’s main street.
“The trees are iconic. Imagine Church Street without all that beautiful shade – it will take years for that to grow back,” she said.
Long-time resident Kellie Small said she remembers when the Bellingen Markets were held in the shade of the trees.
“They are beautiful trees – my kids climb them, my Mum drinks her coffee under them every day,” Ms Small said.
“They are as much a part of Bellingen as the Hammond and Wheatley building or the Courthouse – part of the personality of this town.”
Council director of engineering Wayne Butler, clarified comments made earlier this week about the future of the two corner trees.
“Those trees will be cleaned up and nursed in the short-term, but the plan is still to remove them within the next five to seven years,” Mr Butler said.
He said the trees would be replaced by appropriate semi-mature species.
The Church St beautification project was approved by the council in April 2006.
Cr Kerry Child was one of those who voted in favour of the chosen design.
“I know there is a lot of attachment to the trees, but they are noxious weeds, whose root systems are harmful to the surrounding road surface,” she said.
“The replacement trees will still provide plenty of shade and the end result will be a lovely streetscape.”
The rally will take place at 11am next Friday in Church St.