Media release from SOF Inc 16.9.2011

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Laman St the weekend after the August 2010 decision to fell the trees

The Herald reported today that ‘Cr Bob Cook read a statement late yesterday at a confidential meeting of a Laman Street reference group, claiming the decision on Tuesday to seek an independent assessment on the fig trees was both ‘‘immoral and illegal’’.

The media release in response to this follows:

 

Comments by Newcastle Councillor Bob Cook quoted in a media report today show why an independent expert assessment of the risk posed by the Laman Street trees is so necessary, Save Our Figs said today.

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This morning’s Newcastle Herald  states that Cr Cook believes that the independent expert assessment process supported by the council on Tuesday night “had the potential to cause reputational damage to council staff and other experts involved in the fig tree saga.”

Save Our Figs co-spokesperson Fee Mozeley said that as an elected representative Cr Cook’s key role in this situation should be to ensure that the work the council has done is capable of standing up to rigorous independent scrutiny, not to protect the reputations of council staff or consultants.

The reputations of the people involved should rest on the merits of their work, not on the efforts of Cr Cook and others to keep that work from the light of genuine and legitimate scrutiny,” Ms Mozeley said.

“Cl Cook has led the charge to remove the Laman Street trees, and has continually voted to obstruct any independent review of the risk assessment work that the council has done, including voting against this week’s decision to undertake an independent expert assessment of the level of risk posed by the trees.

Laman St the day before the planned removal August 2011

Save Our Figs co-spokesperson Caity Raschke said that the attitude reflected in the comments attributed to Cr Cook in today’s Herald story demonstrated exactly what the campaign to save the trees had been up against all along.

“For Cr Cook and a number of the other councillors and council staff advocating the removal of the trees, this issue seems to have become more about protecting reputations than about making the right decision in the interests of the Newcastle community.

“Surely this should be about getting at the truth about the risk the trees really do pose, and not about sacrificing such an important city asset in order to protect reputations?” Ms Raschke said.

“No wonder the community is losing confidence in their councillors.

“Cr Cook is on the record as saying that he believes that the council has a ‘rock solid’ case for removing the trees.

“If so, why is he so afraid of a genuinely independent expert assessment process, and why is he so frightened that it might ’cause reputational damage’?” Ms Raschke said.

“We call on Cr Cook and all other Newcastle councillors to commit themselves to the independent expert assessment process, to resolve the contention over whether the Laman Street trees are such a risk to traffic that they must be immediately removed, or whether the level of risk they pose has been overstated, and can be managed without removing them.” Home

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3 Responses to “Media release from SOF Inc 16.9.2011”

  1. Ali Says:

    Spot On!

  2. ArtzyAudz Says:

    Has there EVER been any liability/compensation case or monies paid to anyone from these”dangerous” trees? I know of many a beautiful bride having memoriable images taken, picnics in the park followed by a walk under the avenue of figs and artists capturing their majesty. What I don’t understand is the desire to remove them without definitve & justifiable reasoning.

  3. ArchitectGJA (Ed) Says:

    Excellent. Any report worth the paper it is printed on should be able to pass peer review and scrutiny and pass with flying colours. If not, that report should not be considered.

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