Our way or the highway 21.10.2011


I let an interested arborist know yesterday that Save Our Figs Inc had signed an agreement with the General Manager of Newcastle City Council for a process of ‘independent’ (it’s not) assessment.

I also let him know that there was very little – not nothing, but not a lot either – one could negotiate on. I applaud the leadership shown by Mr Pearce, the GM, and acknowledge the difficult position he is in, with the unrest in the community and lack of faith in the work done on Laman Street to date on the one hand and baying Council management and (some) elected Councillors on the other.

It is regrettable, however, that we had to sign away our right to procedural fairness – imagine a legal person actually writing that into a document – and our right to legal action at the end of the process.

The arborist wrote back

No one in their right mind would [sign a document like this].

Guess SOF should prepare for the removal of the trees as it is a foregone conclusion now

Sad times ahead.

I tried to reassure him and tell him I had confidence in the General Manager.

I hope Mr Pearce is going to oversee a transparent and truly independent process that stands up to the scrutiny the review will be subjected to. I hope it occurs at arms’ length from any of the Council staff who have dealt with Laman Street in the last ten years.

Please keep your eyes on the street. There were men drilling holes there yesterday – I’ve written to the GM to ask him what that was about. I’ll keep you posted.

And there’ll be a Loonies and Ratbags* picnic on Sunday between 10am and 2pm – or any time in between – in Civic Park this Sunday. See you there.

*That’s me and you.



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