Where Are We Up To? 12.7.2011




The position of Laman Street campaigners is this:

The resolution by elected Councillors of Dec 2010 has been ignored by Council Officers:


The solution for Laman Street Figs is simple.


  •  Retain these 14 iconic trees by implementing alternative risk mitigation and tree management strategies including: making Laman Street permanently one-way, using warning signs, encouraging aerial root growth, establishing garden beds and mulching around the trees.




• Give the insurers what they are asking for and engage a reputable company that can provide dynamic testing on the trees. This means scientifically testing them during wind events. To date all that has happened has been ‘visual tree assessment’ which is very subjective.


  •  Accept that these trees are much loved by the public and ensure that future assessments of the trees not only consider health and safety issues but are conducted from a tree preservation standpoint.
  • And, replace the four figs that are missing from Laman Street as a matter of priority.

This truly is the solution. Council resolved to do this last December. So why is this issue still being debated? Why is Council about to have another vote on felling all of the 14 trees?

Responding to Statewide Mutual’s request for an alternative expert opinion SAVE OUR FIGS is calling for independent assessment of the trees.

Baseline dynamic testing for all 14 trees would only be $14,000 not $100,000 as reported previously in the media.

French risk management for a very old tree.

It is not only the community who doubt the methodologies of previous assessments and Council documentation. An independent review of previous assessments must be conducted.


SAVE OUR FIGS has always believed that while all trees carry a risk, the danger of the Laman Street figs has been greatly overstated by Council management.


The call for an independent assessment is perfectly timed as the International Society of Arboriculturists Conference is being held in Parramatta from 19th July. Some arborists have already expressed interest in reviewing the trees.

This is an issue of utmost significance with just shy of 10,000 signatories to our petition to save these trees from Council’s axe. The largest tabled petition in a NSW parliament was by a Coogee community group who had 11,600 signatures.

In fact, the State government is proposing a policy supporting a ‘people’s petition’. This would mean that issues that have between 10,000 and 20,000 signatures would be given the highest consideration.

Council CLEARLY has a re-development plan for the Civic Precinct & Laman Street “ANZAC CENTENNIAL PLAZA” and is determined to take the trees out to achieve it.  One concern has always been that such a development has been one of the drivers of the ‘risk’ claims.

Watch this space for how you can help. Home 

Figs in Selwyn St, Paddington; also on the Significant Tree Register







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3 Responses to “Where Are We Up To? 12.7.2011”

  1. David Horkan. Says:



  2. ArchitectGJA (Ed) Says:

    I agree, brilliant.

    I have asked Council by email if the expert reports indicating the trees are unsafe (while disputed by other experts) were written with a goal to justify removing the trees. That is, asking for a report to attain a predetermined result.

    To date, no answer.

  3. Scott CooperJohnston Says:

    Hi Caity, well done, this looks like a good script for a youtube movie in response, to well, you know who..can we nickname him ‘The Parrot” now?

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