Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


One of the great criminal acts …

THE Meander Valley Council, Tasmania’s most ardent admirer of the logging industry and its shibboleths, has brought the destruction of Arcadia to the village green at Westbury, the heart of its constituency.

This is the stump on one of a pair magnificent macrocarpas felled in the prime of their lives. Who gives the orders for such wanton destruction and for what purpose?

If they now fell the Wellingtonia, this will complete the trifecta and consummates one of the great criminal acts perpetrated over a historic landscape in Tasmania.

A Wellingtonia (sequoia gigantia) should live for three thousand years and grow to a height of 300 feet. I ask, what are its chances under the auspices of the Meander Valley Council?


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  1. Garry Stannus

    February 2, 2010 at 11:28 am

    “Pull up the trees and put in a parking lot?”

    What a curious custom it has been for cars to be driven onto the green instead of parking on the bitumen. I have always viewed parking on the green as a bogan act, one done out of some sort of spiritual ignorance, an inability to appreciate the inappropriateness of certain acts. Ah gee whiz, the one on the corner was so big! All in all it seems to show that they’ll shake their heads (ooh, the safety! The safety!) then make sure that they’re gone … why have a tree? Why not have a parking lot?

  2. phill Parsons remains beyond salvation

    January 30, 2010 at 10:23 am

    My understanding is that the Village Green was the site of the convict barracks so if it was also planned to be something else it shows a long term view for the future for the colony.

    I understand its planting dates to the 1870s period when transportation ended although it had been years since a transport had arrived. As such it represents a social change in a landscape form.

    It is interesting that the date of discovery and description of a species in the new world is closely followed by its distribution to the far reaches of the Empire. As such how far is it seperated from the manipulation of botanical resources for Empire and not simply a representation of fashion following in the footsteps of the Great Exhibition.

    Heritage landscape cannot be seperated from its buildings, they are co-joined to create a context that tells its own story. However to do that some relevant interpretation is needed.

    Beyond that it behoves the State to have effective legislation that protects both the built and planted heritage, especially their context.

    The built heritage may change owners and will decay. The adjoining spaces may be developed. Fore the buildings a series of trades are maintained in conserving their form. Besides providing function they act as assets in providing experiences for tourists.

    The planted heritage ages and as living things need to be managed to ensure their health and safety. They may need renewal as landscapes do but it should be done sensitively to ensure that given the climate remains suitable the original planting scheme is retained.

    What would the colonial era parliament building say without its english trees in the park outfront, speaking of a home physically foregone but remaining in spirit whilst encompassing the theatre where parts of our future are played out.

    Who will replace the philistines currentl ensuring the death of a thousand cuts and building projects in this land of spereading boganism.

  3. Dismord

    January 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Whist appreciating the relevance of John Harwkin’s most recent comment the editors decision to make that comment into a new article shortcircuits the flow of debate that’s taken place.
    Please Mr/Ms Editor, do not make a habit of this peculiar form of de-facto censorship/

  4. Garry Stannus

    January 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Can’t find a civil thing to say about this.

  5. john hawkins

    January 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Red Bob, Captain Shadforth of my Regiment, the 57th was placed in charge of a detachment at Westbury in the 1830s.

    It is probable that he was responsible for the layout of the infant settlement with its Village Green and Glebe.

    The survival of the Green and its plantings is possibly unique on the Island.

    Forestry is exempt any Heritage legislation; you cannot protect a tree in this State.

    The loss of the Westbury Wellingtonia, a species only discovered in the 1840s would indeed be a criminal act; they dropped the Wellingtonia outside the Launceston Museum so a precedent has been set.

  6. Red Bob

    January 27, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    A couple of trees felled – possibly for public safety reasons, but we don’t have the facts – and that’s a `great criminal act’?

    I think you need to look up the word `perspective’ in the dictionary and then go and find someone.

  7. john hawkins

    January 27, 2010 at 11:07 am

    The Logger otherwise known as Meander Mayor Shelton is standing for the Liberal Party.

  8. Dismord

    January 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    A little fairy has just whispered in my ear that a tourist trap bordering the Village Green is about to become far more visible from the main highway thanks to the removal of these trees. Coincidentally (?) the owner of this business has the ear of the Meander Valley Council and is responsible for initiating a number of very expensive council funded Westbury tourists attractions.
    OK, the trees by some stretch of the litigious imagination may have been a safety issue but there were valid solutions to those problems that didn’t need to involve their complete removal.

  9. john hawkins

    January 25, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Another tree down today, if you wish to cause a disaster of this form do it on a holiday or long weekend, after all this is the Tasmanian / Bjelke Petersen way he turned wrecking on public holidays into fine art.

  10. phill PARSONS is beyond salvation

    January 25, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Meander Valley Council had advice about works which could have saved the Cuppressus macrocarpa at WVG. It was the same treatment used at the nearby Culzean along with banning parking underneath them. They procrastinated on the parking and did not undertake the works. Almost a decade later an arborist recommends and the trees are removed.

    There are several dangers that the Sequioadendron giganteum syn. Sequioa gigantea nearby face. There was no adequate watering program. If vehicles can park in its envelope and further impact the root zone this is to the specimens detriment. Changing the exposure to winds may also affect the tree after many decades of being in the lee of the Cuppressus.

    Historically there was an outstanding specimen of a Cuppressus on the corner and under the power lines. It was declared unstable by the then Hydro and removed. No sign of instability showed in the stump left to be a point of infection for the other trees mentioned above. The main problem here is the entry of Armillaria into the complex of root systems that interlinks the trees on the WVG.

    Once you get an arborist’s report it is difficult to get a second opinion contradicting the first, because there are no guarantees that failure will not occur, putting the blame on the person reporting retention if it comes to court and thus threatening reputations. It is this that partly explains why mature trees with little at fault are being removed across the landscape.

    Rational people would support the removal of a hazardous tree were it the only option. A tree requires 2 parts to become a hazard. Structural instability that cannot be addressed by arboricultural work and a potential target. Potential targets do not have to be stationary.

    If we are to retain heritage it must be cared for and this involves expenditure. In the case of trees on arboriculture and later replacement as unlike the built environment they do die. When one s taken away from its natural environment its lifespan may alter.

    Hopefully, Meander Valley Council is going to maintain its landscape heritage into the future, rather than give it the chainsaw massacre treatment after a century of neglect. That landscape is an asset to both locals and the tourist industry.

  11. Dismord

    January 25, 2010 at 1:24 am

    What to you expect from a council that uses the same legal firm as Gunns? The stench of corruption in this valley is nauseating.

  12. Gerry Mander

    January 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Knowing the Meander Council, shortly you will see little rows of seedling where there was once a village green.

    Note the number painted on the log – they’ve already got a buyer for the old growth!

  13. Concerned Resident

    January 24, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Do Gunns or FT get a freebie or mates rates???

  14. Dave Groves

    January 24, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Looks like it will make a fine picnic table….and about $20 worth of woodchips…..

  15. pilko

    January 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    John do you plan to follow this up through the council? If so can you keep TT up to date on the outcomes? Why were the trees lopped?
    Bizarre but how very Tasmanian.

  16. Pete Godfrey

    January 24, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Nice one John, I am sure the answer will be in the form of protecting the council from any chance of an insurance claim should a branch accidentally fall on a bystander.
    I think that the insurance companies must be behind the logging industry here, trying to make sure that no one ever gets hit by a flying leaf.

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