A Little Whine for Mother’s Day 8.5.2011


Here are some of the things I learned this week.

The Hunter Development corporation representative wrote to the Herald defending their plan to put in a carpark on absolute waterfront land on the harbour:

The corporation is committed to providing a continuous public domain along the waterfront and has no plan to commit waterfront land for long-term, permanent structured car parking.

Let’s see how long ‘temporary’ turns out to be and see what their version of a ‘continuous public domain’ is.

And is it just me or is our new Liberal local state member very quiet?  Has he said anything since he was elected? I don’t read everything in the paper but I look at most pages of it most days. Maybe no news is good news.

And the poor bats in Burdekin Park in Singleton made the news again because they made the mistake of making their presence felt at the Anzac Day Dawn Service. The Mayor is gunning for them again. She made the frightening statement

‘I know culling and relocation red tape has been relaxed somewhat and I am hoping to be able to get a common sense approach to this issue.’

Thankyou to Minister Peter Garrett (a Crikey article about this here)  and to the Maclean local member for setting worrying precedents for this. I keep going on about these poor animals but in a country with the dubious honour of more extinctions than anyone else you’d think we’d be more mindful of the consequences of our actions. We need to start talking about money and cost to agriculture since other, less tangible reasons for taking care of wildlife don’t seem to fly.

Here is a story about a picnic held before the flying fox evictions from the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens (a quick read of Peter Garrett’s defence of himself is here). Wish I’d been able to be there. The flying fox facts in the article are great.

Good news that bears repeating (but that’s I hope not news to most people) is that there has never been a case of bat-to-human or human-to-human transmission of Hendra virus.

The Memorial Grove made it into the news, with veterans upset about its neglect by Council. The response from Council was scary:

“Memorial Grove in Civic Park has been earmarked for refurbishment works next financial year”

What I hear in that is ‘We’re going to obliterate it and turn it into a sculpture garden.’ Call me paranoid but since the talk of relocating memorials keeps replaying in all our heads and has done for a decade or so it’s hard to see ‘refurbishment’ in a positive light.

Sending a gardener in there occasionally would be good. I sent a whiney email to Council this week because there was a no-smoking sticker on a  plaque in the Grove. Putting this notice in an insensitive place doesn’t pass as maintenance.

And I saw a couple of articles about a very scary plant disease called myrtle rust. According the The Australian newspaper it slipped through quarantine and wasn’t dealt with appropriately. A comment on one article lamented the fact that it has only taken us 200 years to completely ruin our environment. Please let this not be so.

And here’s some good news: the fig trees in Wauchope which were to be taken out have been saved by the community and root barriers are to be installed. Council’s announcement about this is here and it was enough of a story in the area for the outgoing administrator to mention it in an interview about his resignation. It just goes to show how persistence pays off. Please let that be the case in Newcastle about our Laman Street trees.


Magnolias where there should be natives


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2 Responses to “A Little Whine for Mother’s Day 8.5.2011”

  1. ArchitectGJA (Ed) Says:

    The treatment of the Memorial Grove by benign neglect, or laissez faire to make it appear more refined, is disturbing. Even as a peacenik, I see the value in maintaining these memorials for reasons of humanity, gratitude and even the historical connection to the soldiers and citizens of a very young Australia.

    If the Council is content with the status quo, I wonder if a group of veteran (and non-veteran) volunteers would offer their labour free of charge to maintain the memorial. Such an offer being made at a public Council meeting, with the press present, would probably gain a very favourable response from councillors, dare I think even a financial provision for tools and materials in gratitude for the free labour.

    It would also benefit any memorial if there could be some more in-depth information about the people being memorialized: photos, some information about their lives, how their surviving family got on. When one realizes that the names on memorials are more than mere letters carved in stone, that they represent a human life which has ended, most likely far too early, leaving behind grieving family members and lost opportunities, then one is much less willing to allow that memorial to be arbitrarily relocated or to fall into decay.

  2. chatty Says:

    So that’s never been a case of bat-to-human or human-to-human transmission of Hendra virus and never been a pedestrian killed in Australia by a street tree & a branch or tree has never collapsed in Laman Street …………………..yet!

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