SAVE THE TREE: Protesters gather outside the  Ballina Shire Council chambers prior to the future of a 200-year-old fig tree at Lennox Head being debated. A previous decision called for the tree to be cut down.
SAVE THE TREE: Protesters gather outside the Ballina Shire Council chambers prior to the future of a 200-year-old fig tree at Lennox Head being debated. A previous decision called for the tree to be cut down. Graham Broadhead

200-year-old tree to be chopped despite efforts to save it

A LAST-DITCH effort to save a 200-year-old fig tree from being chopped down has failed.

At today's Ballina Shire Council meeting, a rescission motion was put forward by Cr Jeff Johnson that would have reversed a previous decision to chop down the tree in Castle Dr, Lennox Head.

After a heated debate, the vote was tied at 5-5.

Mayor David Wright used his casting vote against the rescission motion, meaning the original decision to remove the tree still stands.

Cr Johnson said he was disappointed about the decision.

"The council really hasn't explored all options to reduce future damage to the affected property and maintain the long term health of the tree," he said.

"The motion I moved was to get a peer review of the information presented to council.

"It's the death knell for this magnificent tree.

"It was a poor planning decision."

Cr Johnson said he wasn't sure what was happening with the progress of the council's significant tree register.

"Moving forward, we need to give consideration to planting appropriate tree species and having adequate buffer zones," he said.

"I hope this doesn't set a precedent for other magnificent fig trees and other trees of significance in our shire."

Jenny Grinlington, Mali an Brian Rawle and Sherrie Yeomans and Josh Kelly feel the community should have been consulted with more time over the decision to cut down the fig tree on Castle Drive.
Jenny Grinlington, Mali an Brian Rawle and Sherrie Yeomans and Josh Kelly feel the community should have been consulted with more time over the decision to cut down the fig tree on Castle Drive. Marc Stapelberg


GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

premium_icon GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

The RFS truck will probably be written off.

"Someone could have been injured or killed"

premium_icon "Someone could have been injured or killed"

An RFS crew sheltered in their truck as the grass fire overcame them

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