Turns out those trees were managing stormwater…11.2.2012


Laman Street's 'iconic view corridor' by David Ross


Newcastle Regional library flooded today in storm:
Never happened while the trees were there‘ say library staff

The Laman Street trees were felled this week after a two-year battle and within days the benefits that used to be provided by the trees have been revealed by nature, says Laman Street campaigner Caity Raschke.

‘I’m told by a library staff member that in a hailstorm with huge winds the library doors were almost impossible to close,  resulting in the ingress of water into the foyer of the heritage building. Extra staff had to be called in to mop up water from the floor.

‘Newcastle City Council’s own urban forest policy recognises the benefits of trees in reducing stormwater run-off.

‘Within just days of the vandalism of this streetscape we’re seeing how dangerous NOT having those trees there is.

I knew karma would come to get NCC‘, said Dr Raschke; ‘what a shame it’s our assets that are going to suffer.

‘This isn’t the only alarming piece of news I heard today. I hope the rumour passed on to me about Council planning to move the Civic Park fountain to Honeysuckle is incorrect.’


And can anyone confirm another unsubstantiated rumour? A senior Council staff member was at a retail outlet and a fig campaigner asked if the staff member was happy now that the fig trees were gone – to which the staffer said ‘Yes – didn’t we do well?’ The tone was described to me – third hand – as offensive.

I sent a bunch of emails out today to let people know about the fundraiser gig on Sunday and one lovely person replied ‘Do you think there’s still hope?

That poor soul is overseas and hadn’t heard that the trees had gone.

And I know of at least two trees that fell over in suburbs near me in today’s storm – both eucalypts. Surprise, surprise. Home


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8 Responses to “Turns out those trees were managing stormwater…11.2.2012”

  1. Elisabeth Rubie Says:

    Please don’t talk about eucalypts being dangerous.
    Trees are not dangerous.

    Cars are dangerous, people are dangerous.

    Trees are simply beautiful and local native trees are the most beautiful, the most suited to the area, and the most useful for wildlife and bio-diversity.

  2. jerome Says:

    Caity I was just at a friends house in railway st cooks hill where i live as well. And their next door neighbour has a gum tree!” God bless our beautiful country”. Thank you nature!Our native trees are known to loose branches in high winds and storms. As a known fact. We learnt that in primary school. I’ts ashame that we did’nt get a catergory 6 cyclone last night.Maybe another ship may have beached. may be parry St would have cars floating at their own will down towards market town? Which they did.Fact.And maybe amongst all of this nature apart from boats and cars being destroyed.Maybe just maybe and please correct me if I’m wrong.Maybe just maybe do you think the fig trees would have possible made it through!Of cause they would have.God bless.See you sunday. Bye J.R.

  3. Elisabeth Rubie Says:

    I thought save our figs wanted to keep all trees safe, local native trees included. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe you see danger when you look at a gum tree. If they are looked after they are as safe as any tree. just look at Sydney! You may have learnt that gum trees lose limbs in primary school, but I learnt that without them we have no native animals. I would rather see a limb drop than look over a city without gum trees. I morn for the loss of the Laman Street figs, but I would morn the loss of local native trees more. I am obviously in the wrong place.

    • Caity Raschke Says:

      I agree with you – sorry if it’s not obvious sometimes. When I/we talk about gum trees or eucalypts falling over, I/we’re just pointing out the irony of Council’s approach to figs. We want more trees and more native trees. Thanks for reminding me about my tone. Much appreciated.

  4. jerome Says:

    Elisabeth please do not get me wrong. Our native trees are vulnerable to high winds,so what. That’s part of our nature.Eucalyptus (Tall aromatic tree of Australia) : An evergreen tree that has aromatic leaves and produces timber and resin, and medicinal oil. All I’m saying is, i love our country ! And the figs were sound.Period.

  5. Karen Scarfe Says:

    what an eyesore now Laman street is, it really sickens me….the beauty of the trees were gorgeous.

  6. Sharon McCarthy Says:

    Karen you are right and eyesore.
    I was at the Laman Street on the Thursday in the pouring rain watching people chop these beautiful Figs down, watched the sap pouring from these beautiful trees on a day they should have been enjoying the rain….how sad. The animals had no carer’s I could see anywhere on that day and when I asked no one would speak to me as if I was not even there. The birds looked on as there home were being destroyed it would have made anyone sad. I was standing by a beautiful older lady name Alice I think that was her name and I seen so much sadness in her eyes, this broke my heart, I think it is sad when a councils does not even care about destroying the older people of the area’s history….you could see she had a lot of history on these beautiful trees. We could all see these figs where healthy figs and a very important to so many. I seen many of the people who tried to protect the figs for two years or more on that day. The weather was so bad that no worker should have even been aloud to work in that kind of weather. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and to think that work cover wouldn’t even show after being rang to check the site. How bad council treated the people of Newcastle that where only trying to protect trees that so many people cared about. Young and old community members. Many people looked at theses carers for the figs as being crazy greenee’s or trouble making protester’s, So wrong these people are to have even thought that. The police our police were standing in the pouring rain like statues showing no feelings, I felt like I was the bad guy and the one doing the killing be hide were the good guys. The Fig trees where planted so many years ago and were so beautiful doing a fine job….all they need was care and a better management plan.To chop them all down at once was a crime as so many creatures depended on them. They should have been removed slowly over time….pruning the others. I love our Native trees and they are so very important to our environment’s health. I don’t think after seeing and watching this fig tree story for now two years that it really would have mattered what kind of trees were in Laman Street, the councilor’s would have still had them removed. They seem to have other reason for the wanting the trees removed….because these trees were not unhealthy like they said. To end I just wont to say I will never forget what I seen on that very rainy day in Newcastle….how wrong it was all carried out….and the fact that the people of the community where treated so wrong by their council.

  7. Terry McCauley Says:

    What a surprise that these majestic ‘highly risky’ fig trees should have been providing such a wonderful, natural barrier to the library building over so many years!

    Maybe a sign of more cataclysmic things to come!

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