Fig Jam meeting 24.8.2010


This is a picture of the danger council saved us from after the Pasha Bulker storm in 2007.

A huge tree moved in the ground in 90-100 km/hr winds and developed cracks. This is how underwhelming the tree damage was. This picture and the others that were taken at the time explain why there were no photos of Laman Street tree ‘failures’ shown to the residents who attended the charade charette in March. Even the biddable members of the group would have been appalled.

Fig Jam is having its next meeting today, Tuesday 24.8.2010,  in Civic Park at 11:30am. If it’s sunny they will be near the fountain – look for the ‘Save The Figs’ sign. If it’s raining or freezing they’ll be in the library.

Did I tell you can buy paper made from wheat? You probably knew already.  Now all we need is tissues, kitchen paper and toilet paper to be made from it. ‘Greenpeace calculates that if each American family bought a roll of recycled toilet paper just once, 400,000 trees could be saved.’ This quote is from  this article  in

Welcome to the toilet paper wars. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), deforestation is the single greatest cause of global warming, and toilet tissue is responsible for 15% of all deforestation. Loss of trees results in enormous devastation to entire forest ecosystems. NRDC estimates that on a worldwide basis, deforestation causes more global warming than the combined emissions of all vehicles, airplanes and ships—and that’s not all. When trees become paper, more water is required than converting recycled paper to fiber. Many companies that use tree pulp also employ chlorine-based bleach, which pollutes water systems.

And speaking of recycling, recycled cardboard coffins can be the most beautiful things you ever saw. I was privileged to attend the funeral of a friend who chose one and just loved his choice. He didn’t want to have a tree chopped down.

Newcastle City Council is keen to tell us that the Laman Street figs, when turned into mulch, will be contributing to the health of other trees in town.

At the charette one idea was that these trees should be dug up and moved. There are some great images of Moreton Bay figs being moved from northern NSW to the Homebush Bay Olympic site here.

Council’s arborists called such suggestions ‘fanciful’, just as they said the suggestions about how to maintain the health of these trees were fanciful (see ‘We can’t see the trees for the (urban) forest’) . It was suggested to me yesterday that one reason the moving idea was dismissed was that it wouldn’t have been a good look if the trees stayed healthy in their new home for decades.

Don’t miss out on some walks in Laman Street – you may not have long before the chainsaws turn up.

You can guarantee that council will be patting itself on the back eventually for the changes in Laman Street but there’s a good chance it won’t be in our lifetime.

In Dublin a few years ago the council took out 100 year-old plane trees to ‘do up’ part of town. There were protests (presumably from the Vocal Minority) but the trees went anyway. Here you can read an I-told-you-so from a town-planning consultant who says the council made the right decision.

For the record the councillors in Newcastle who voted to remove the trees were John Tate, Aaron Buman, Bob Cook, Brad Luke, Mike King, Graham Boyd and Scott Sharpe.

Cheers.  Home.


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2 Responses to “Fig Jam meeting 24.8.2010”

  1. Phoenix Says:

    as a relatively new resident, it was great to meet Fig Jammers in Civic Park today and to see people just coming up to sign the petition, good on you all for all your work. Until today I have been in disbelief since last weeks council decision that crowds of people aren’t crying in Laman Street and saying as loud as they can that they want the trees to stay. I just wish all the people who care about the trees would turn up in Laman St all at once in a huge show of public support for the trees.

  2. jenny rooke Says:

    There are a lot of people in Maitland waiting to see what action can be taken .Let us known

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