Day one 6.10.2010


Here’s a piece of advice for the next time you take your city council to court: have a lawyer sitting next to you so the proceedings can be interpreted for you.

Today’s events were mostly Greek to me so I can’t tell you much. The few things I understood were:

  • day two is tomorrow. (How insightful is that?)
  • the court was not concerned with advice on differences of opinion between arborists. I believe several councillors were waiting to have this decided by the court, but they will be disappointed.
  • it may be that if the General Manager decides that 14 trees are a traffic hazard then that’s what they are. Imagine the odds of all 14 trees in an avenue being traffic hazards.

Talking about bats tomorrow. This may mean they’re still looking at whether the $1.4 million removal of 14 trees constitutes an ‘activity’ = development that needs consent and therefore requires an environmental impact statement.

I assume I told you that council were asked where the fauna assessment was on 27th July, when councillors were told it had been done, but in fact it had not. It was commenced on 13th August and delivered long after the decision to remove the trees had been taken.

So from the little that was clear to a non-lawyer today, council officers all over the countryside may be trying to find a way to use the Roads Act to remove pesky trees.

I can tell them how to avoid wasting about $200 000: just be a dictator and take out the trees. [$200 000 is the charade plus the cost of having a team of men turn up in the street  every time the wind blows plus the cost of decreased sales in the Art Gallery plus the consultant arborists, plus trenching in the street, plus the radar report plus lost revenue from parking meters plus weekly committee meetings for a year.]

Forget about hearts and minds and charettes and charades and external consultants and risk abatement strategies. What’s the worst that can happen? The people who don’t actually know who you are will hate you, but let’s face it: what can they actually do to you? You’ll be moving on to a more powerful position soon anyway and if they met you they’d hate you anyway. It comes with the territory and after all, what do you care?

Who cares what the people of Newcastle think?  Home


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One Response to “Day one 6.10.2010”

  1. Ali Says:

    I know its obvious and has been said a million times by anyone with common sense, but honestly how can an avenue of figs be more of a rd hazard than a new row down the middle of the bloody rd?? This Council really treats the good people of Newcastle with pure contempt.

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