29 minutes you won’t get back 13.9.2012


Thanks to Josh for this photo, which I have used before. It’s about as scientific as the way NCC dealt with the ‘hidden problems’ in Laman Street.

You can watch a video of the council officer who seems to have come up with the daft idea to get rid of the Laman Street trees.

Here he is justifying himself to the arboricultural world at the Treenet symposium held a couple of weeks ago.

The link is here.
My favourite quotes are:

  • I didn’t decide to remove the Laman Street trees; that was a resolution by the democratically elected council. I was just part of a team.’
  • ‘When I first came to Newcastle I was driven around by another arborist and I said “Ooh, look at that” and “Ooh, look at that” and he said “Don’t look”‘.
  • ‘The community sees beautiful trees, the arborist sees a structural problem
  • [Describing a photo of the base of a Laman Street tree] ‘I don’t know how anyone would describe that as a quality tree
  • [NCC used all sorts of technology including ground-penetrating radar and] ‘they drew brown lines and it was released to the press before we had a chance [and it confused people]’ CR: almost four months after they received it. WTF
  • ‘I admire Lonsdale for saying he had no first hand experience of this type of tree so could offer no specific advice’. CR This ain’t all he said. His best comment was that restricted root plates is the norm throughout the world  for street trees.
  • [Speaking about the charade/charrette/community engagement thingy in April 2010] ‘Community activists took over the engagement process‘. CR In a vacuum etc. If only we had. That piece of work, the planning manager, was asked to spend more time on the trees and she said, “I was asked to run a charrette on the whole precinct and that’s what I did”.
  • ‘Newcastle is a one newspaper town and the Herald didn’t and still doesn’t like Council. The activists got full access to the Herald.CR I suspect both the Herald and  ‘activists’ would disagree.
  • ‘The media is not a good place to go for good ideas.’
  • ‘I can still smile.’ CR Like anyone gives a toss.

This is the man who refused to sit around a table with other experts when mediation occurred. I saw him disappearing into the distance when he was supposed to be coming up with some common ground with the other technical experts. Hope he wasn’t paid for that ‘casual’ day’s work.

And below is the Kesha song that was my anthem when there was still hope that Philth would be beaten: I like the line ‘I don’t want the concrete‘. It still brings back memories of bat calls in the trees and the kookaburra family always on the same branch and the sound of the wind blowing the leaves and a thousand birds and talk of microbats and eating Turkish pizza sitting on the library steps.

Where I wouldn’t be caught dead now.

Apologies for the fifteen second commercial in the vid.




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One Response to “29 minutes you won’t get back 13.9.2012”

  1. Sherilyn Says:

    Thank you Caity for your memories of our precious grove, especially the way those soaring branches played the wind. Sitting under the Civic Park figs goes some way in quelling the yearning for the restorative experiences of the Laman canopy. As the Portuguese say, “Saudade”.

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