Councillor wants to know why trees were lopped
OONOONBA residents are outraged that trees planted 20 years ago as part of a city beautification program were cut down without warning or community consultation.
A Townsville City Council spokeswoman said the trees were cut down after a request by Queensland Rail, because they affected train driver visibility of a nearby traffic signal past Rooney’s Bridge.
However, a QR spokeswoman denied that the company made the request.
The 100m stretch of land on Abbott St is now bare earth.
Cr Les Walker raised the issue last week at a Smart City Sustainable Future committee meeting, saying he had received a number of complaints and asking whether council was responsible.
He was told the trees stood in a corridor between the QR- operated train tracks and the Department of Transport and Main Roads controlled road and bikeway, and that either group could have been responsible.
However, it was later revealed the work was carried out by council staff.
The felled trees have left the recently constructed bikeway adjacent to the road without any shade, and a memorial plaque commemorating the Japanese bombing of the area also sits out in the open.
Cr Walker said he understood there may have been a safety issue with the obscured traffic signal but other options could have been pursued, along with consultation.
“It’s not a good look when we contract people to go in there and remove the trees we planted,” Cr Walker said.
tipping they completely wiped them out. It looks like scorched dirt, I’m not happy with it.
“On one hand we encourage the community to plant trees and be environmentally conscious, and on the other we are tearing them down.”
Division Cr Suzanne Blom said she was disappointed councillors were not always informed about what occurred in their areas of responsibility, especially given they would bear the brunt of complaints.
Cr Walker said he’d like to see smaller shrubs replanted in the place of the trees and discussions with council staff indicated this was a possibility.