Generational tree change
THE "native" trees planted at Tin Can Bay a generation ago are no longer native enough, according to Cooloola Coastcare.
But Gympie Regional Council, like the Bay community itself, seems to be in two minds over the issue.
A report to council’s Works and Services Committee this week refers to a grant received by Coastcare for “demonstration plantings” of “endemic plants”, with specific reference to one area in Gympie Road.
The area, which runs for about 120m from Salmon Street towards town, currently boasts a number of eucalypts, no longer considered suitable by some.
The staff report lists as one of the “issues” the fact that council can expect “some community opposition to the use of endemic species as required by the Planning Scheme,” with a “risk analysis” which warns that the “project may not satisfy members of the local community”.
The report, from Eastern Division Works General Manager Greg Ingham, quickly prompted the obvious political question from Mayor Ron Dyne: “Why are we doing it?”
Mr Ingham told councillors that Cooloola Coastcare had been successful in obtaining funding for demonstration plantings in three locations on the Coast.
“The intent of the plantings is to demonstrate that endemic plants can be successfully used as alternatives to more traditional exotic species, some of which may become environmental weeds,” he said.
The “endemic” species are defined as “native plants that are found or once grew naturally in the local area”.
Mr Ingham said Coastcare had agreed to “one demonstration planting, rather than three separate coastal sites”.
Cr Dyne said he would probably rather see three separate plantings, but added: “I don’t know why this would be a bother, but if it is, why are we doing it?”
“If people don’t support it, why are we travelling down that road?” he asked.
Cr Graham Engeman suggested a better location would be the park at the corner of Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach Roads, but it was pointed out this is Main Roads Department territory.
“It will be necessary to remove a number of the (previously planted) existing eucalypts (and) some shrubs that are not suited to the conditions and no longer look attractive,” the report recommended.