Man says gum trees at new playground site pose a danger
A SOUTH Kolan man has come forward with grave concerns about the safety of children where a playground is being built in Gin Gin.
Des Messenger, 78, said a number of giant gum trees where loaded with termites and dry rot which could cause them to fall at any given moment.
Mr Messenger said his concerns came after a telegraph pole snapped last year and landed on a neighbouring tennis court.
“Look at what it did to the fence of court – it could happen at any minute,’’ he said.
“The limbs on the tress are all hollow and it wouldn’t take much for them to come down and it’s definitely a worry.”
Bundaberg Regional Council Environment and Natural Resources spokesman Bill Trevor said the trees did contain some hollows and there was some termite activity.
But that was consistent for trees of that type and age and did not suggest the trees were unhealthy.
Mr Messenger said he believed no safety audit had been completed before work started on the playground in March and feared for the safety of the workers.
Cr Trevor said the council had undertaken its standard pre-project planning which included a work place health and safety component and two tress had been removed.
“The trees have been part of the landscape in this area for decades. The trees have always been considered an asset to the site, providing natural shade and wildlife habitat,” Cr Trevor said.
“The intention was to undertake remedial pruning of the trees to minimise any safety risks and enable the retention of the trees.
“Once the construction progressed a secondary inspection was undertaken which resolved to remove two of the higher risk trees due to some damage to the structural root zones associated with the initial earthworks.”
Cr Trevor said at this time the council did not consider the trees to be a danger and it would be engaging an independent arborist to assess them and recommend how best to manage them.
He said the trees, and many like them, were an important part of the Gin Gin landscape and had been for decades.
“They provide shade for park users and habitat for birds, insects, reptiles and small mammals,” he said.
“With an appropriate inspection regime and clear intervention protocols, these trees can remain part of the Gin Gin landscape for many years to come.”
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DANGER CLOSE: Des Messenger is concerned with the safety of a playground that is under construction in Gin Gin.