Have your photo taken in Laman Street before it’s too late 16.9.2010


A friend dropped in to see me today and brought an East coast freetail bat with her that she is trying to nurse back to health. She may have a few more in the near future once the arborists, council officers and elected councillors get their way in Laman Street …

The microbat was about as long as my index finger and had lovely soft brown fur and delicate wings. Poor little thing.

My children and I went to Laman Street tonight and we could hear bats calling. I have always assumed that the bat noises were coming from grey-headed flying foxes but the recent sad fauna assessment put a different slant on these calls. You can download it here (378.8KB)  Fauna NCC_Laman_Street_Figs_s5A_assessment.2 

It’s interesting (see ‘Well that was fun – the post-charette presentation’) that Cr Osborne (Greens) asked the infrastructure manager at the July 27th council presentation meeting – where the twaddle about ten options for managing the trees in Laman Street was presented – whether an environmental/fauna assessment had been done and was told that it had been, and yet the first assessment in the street appears to have been started on 13th August. I presume there’s some complicated explanation that eludes a lay person like me. Do you think there was one council didn’t like before that?

It’s a bit of a shame council couldn’t get their act together to start chopping trees down on National Threatened Species Day, September 7th. That would be up there with the place activation council has planned for summer, to try to attract people to Laman Street without any trees. Do you think there’s a course you can do to learn such barbarism?

 The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water website has bat calls that you can listen to. Once the real thing is gone from my neighbourhood I’ll take the time to listen to the online ones. I’ve asked a friend if I can borrow his outdoor recorder to make a record to keep. Maybe I could send that to the library to go with their Laman Shame file.

Since there will probably be no avenues left like this soon everyone should go this weekend to Laman Street to have their photo taken. I can just picture us all one day surrounded by sad little water gums, hankering after the big shade trees of our youth. You can be underwhelmed by pictures of water gums here  – some of which are huge but that wouldn’t happen around here: not when you budget $430 000 for outsourced tree work to remove trees each year.

Speaking of tree work, the picture at left is of making a tree tidy enough to put a lovely straight gutter in. They got rid of the pesky root holding the tree up on the road side. This is at the western end of Laman Street where there is an incredible mish-mash of tree species. (I guess a monoculture where you have rows of the same type of tree is a potential risk for disease or insect attack but some places in Newcastle really take the cake for a lack of planning.)

 Perhaps arborists need to spend less time on policies (some still not finished after 18 months eg the Street Tree Masterplan) that they can beat towns over the head with later and more time teaching the important workers at council how to manage this sort of thing – especially since we are spending tens of thousands of dollars on trying to convince the person in the street that ‘outdated‘ tree care practices are responsible for the Arboreal Disaster we are heading for… Looks like outdated practices are alive and well.

I’m guessing that’s why we are about to dig up our most beautiful street – to use our outdated methods for running cables. As I said on the home page I’m taking bets – matches, pride, punches in the arm etc: anything but money – on the infrastructure work that’s coming and that we are letting the backroom people have their way with. Have councillors not driven along the racecourse in Broadmeadow/Hamilton where workers managed to run a kilometre or more of electrical cables without touching a fig tree?

See you at a farewell/candlelight vigil in Laman Street over the weekend – and more tomorrow. Can’t help myself. Home


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One Response to “Have your photo taken in Laman Street before it’s too late 16.9.2010”

  1. chatty Says:

    Ya don’t have to get too heady about it, it’s not rocket science, it’s just the bulldozers coming in to clear the land so the developers can build something flashy and new with their name on it. The trees are just in the way!

    Soon we will be browsing threw the new Tate Gallery & enjoying coffee and croissant at the new Hewitt Cafe overlooking the new Marsden mediumstrip…Hills fig lined of course!

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