It ain’t over till it’s over 5.10.2011


Laman Street seen from Civic Park

Do you know what was happening in Darby Street tonight? At 1am, there were a total of five people: two in a  noodle shop, two on bikes and me on foot . I’m pretty sure I was the only one there to check if tree fellers had moved into Laman Street.

There was a beautiful half moon above the roofs of terrace houses and the sounds of bats having a lovely time in fig trees.

In spite of these bits of loveliness, walking in the middle of the night is not something I’d usually recommend. I think I went because I felt like I was in some bizarre parallel universe. After all, how else could I explain what I heard in Council tonight?

Cr Boyd who has consistently voted against keeping the (for Council) depressingly sturdy fig trees said Council needs to vote ethically – then voted against independent assessment continuing. Cr King talked bout tree ‘failures‘ in 2007 when no one who reads their emails could possibly say there were tree failures. Cr Connell praised the work of prominent Council managers involved in the Laman Street troubles – excuse me? And Council voted to investigate itself over the fig tree fiasco (as the Herald calls it).

And Council paid $17 000 for the legal advice that brought on last night’s rescission motion – for about the same amount, they could have had independent assessment and put all the conflict behind them.

Thanks to the councillors who spoke against the rescission motion – the Lord Mayor, Sharon Claydon, Michael Osborne and Nuatali Nelmes. Thanks to Shayne Connell who brought the review of process vote to Council – even though a body investigating itself must be a waste of time.

The vote went the usual way:

against independent assessment of the tree risk:








Remember those names. They will be responsible for a legacy to Newcastle of a barren Laman Street and calling mature trees a traffic hazard when the drover’s dog would question whether they’re dangerous. It’s all these men will be remembered for. The elected Council have shown amazing loyalty to Council management whose work on this issue has let us all down. I hope Councillors receive the same loyalty in return.

Today we’ll be talking to some inspiring lawyers. Which is the reference to ‘it ain’t over till it’s over’.Watch this space.

Don’t forget to go for a walk in Laman Street soon. Home





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One Response to “It ain’t over till it’s over 5.10.2011”

  1. auswegian1969 Says:

    As an expat Novacastrian, reading about this completely blows my mind. The Laman street figs are one of the pearls in ewcastle town centre, a place of beauty and tranquility in a city centre that is more and more built out.
    The Council seems to be constantly in the media for all the wrong reasons of late, corruption, mismanagement, rorting expenses and general ineptitude.
    To think that the next time I pop down for a visit that the figs will be consigned to the woodchipper is a sad thought.
    The councillors that voted against an independent enquiry have demonstrated what most voters suspect of the political classes, an aversion to the truth, an abhorrence of the facts and a self-serving attitude that distances them from the people that they claim to represent.

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