Neighbours Jean Willis and Marcus Schmidt worry about the condition of Commissioners Gully and want to know why the trees are dying.
Neighbours Jean Willis and Marcus Schmidt worry about the condition of Commissioners Gully and want to know why the trees are dying. Lee Gailer

Dead trees a growing worry

NEIGHBOURS whose properties back on to Commissioner’s Gully, off Garrick and Thomas Sts, share a fear for the gully’s health after discovering trees near a stormwater drain have died.

Jean Willis has lived next door to Commissioner’s Gully for more than 50 years and watched the flora grow up into a lush green canopy shading a little oasis.

She first noticed dead limbs dropping in her yard several months ago, before realising a cluster of trees had died off for no apparent reason.

After contacting property owner Marcus Schmidt, it was soon discovered this section of Commissioner’s Gully was not the responsibility of Gympie Regional Council.

She and husband Steve wondered why Marcus should have to foot the bill when waterways on farms and properties were normally owned by the government. They felt it wasn’t fair, and contacted Gympie Regional Council and Landcare for help, but have had no response.

Mr Schmidt located a stormwater drain among the dead trees and took a soil sample, however, he has been unable to get any results due to the substantial testing fee.

“This was beautiful, lush, rainforest-type land one year ago,” he said. “It was a thick canopy and now it’s so bare. There’s a difference in growth just around the drain.”

Steve Willis said some of the dead trees were camphor laurels, which were normally very hard to kill. “I reckon someone’s dumped poison in the stormwater drain,” he said.

The drain runs from Mulcahy Tce down to Commissioner’s Gully where the outlet was kept clean by Mr and Mrs Willis for 30 years until health restricted them recently.

Landcare and Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee staff plan to look at the site and see if they can work out what’s going on and if it needs to be discussed with the council.

Gympie Times


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