Developers’ care for $100 000 tree 23.4.2011


I apologise that my headline is misleading – I have only the vaguest idea of the value of this Hill’s fig. I do know definitely, however, that it will need a great deal of luck to survive the beige nightmare of a development in the street around it to survive. Heaven knows, no one is taking any active steps to care of it. 


This fig is one of only three surviving figs in the Ravenshaw/Steel Street block; there were seven a few years ago. Three were judged by the developer’s arborist to be nearing the end of their useful life and were ground into nothing. (Do I feel the cold breath of cynicism on the back of my neck?)

 One tree mysteriously went into decline this year and suffered a major branch failure a month ago. Within 48 hours the tree was gone. It’s so much easier to do curbing and guttering now.

Council insisted that the developers protect the trees in Ravenshaw Street and one of them has had a cage around it ever since work began. Not so this Steel Street tree. The fence is to stop cars and pedestrians from entering the street. The root zone is apparently being used as a storage area.

I wish we had the will to insist that our green heritage be preserved.

And on an envious note, here’s a fantastic green roof on a  university roof in Poland. When Newcastle university builds the business school near the harbour in Newcastle, do you think we’ll have anything like this?

And speaking of harbour development, I read an email update about Honeysuckle yesterday:

“In order to respond to the needs of businesses in the area we have opted to build the Lee Wharf car park as a temporary measure to support … businesses and encourage visitors.”…the facility will be constructed at Lee Wharf on harbour-side land near the Worth Place roundabout.

“I expect this car park will be in place for three to five years as we make preparations for the continuation of the Honeysuckle project through Lee Wharf to Cottage Creek and Throsby Wharf,” Mr Hawes said.

The photo is from the Honeysuckle Development Corporation. This plan is wrong on so many levels. If it’s temporary and gone in 3-5 years, I’ll buy a hat and eat it. And how’s the thinking: give Newcastle a car park in what should be one of the most beautiful places in town. The residents have put up with industry, pollution, coal dust and Sydney-centric governments ignoring them for years; they won’t complain.



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One Response to “Developers’ care for $100 000 tree 23.4.2011”

  1. tess Says:

    Hi Caity,

    Its appalling what this council are doing.

    Why I wonder, every time I go to the library and art gallery, are the trees in Laman Street still surrounded by ugly wire fencing with threatening signs showing about trees chasing people?

    Do you know?

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