One-person tree protest

By Southern Riverina News

‘‘There’s been no community consultation to see how we feel about this.’’

That’s what Tocumwal local Julie Stava said about her one woman protest against trees being cut down along the levee bank on Monday morning.

Mrs Stava said she predicted at least five ‘‘mature’’ trees were cut along the bank between the Goulburn Valley Hwy bridge and old rail bridge.

‘‘I came home to hear the sound of chainsaws and knew exactly what was going on.

‘‘I took my chair and umbrella — in case it rained — walked through the demolition site and told them I wasn’t going anywhere.

‘‘They had to stop down cutting the trees but I was asked to leave straight away.

‘‘The trees they cut down were River Red Gums and Greybox.’’

Mrs Stava said too many trees are being cut down in Tocumwal and the town is starting to lose its pituresque landscape.

‘‘They cut down the trees to make way for the Foreshore. I moved to Tocumwal because of how beautiful it is.

‘‘I’m one of many locals who are dumbfounded as to why the council is cutting down all of these trees.

‘‘A lot of this has to do with community consultation there are many other projects the council is planning on doing but they haven’t consulted with the community.

‘‘It’s a big part of the problem here in Tocumwal because no one seems to know what is happening.’’

Berrigan Shire engineer Fred Exton said cutting down the trees were a matter of public safety during floods.

‘‘There was a risk report done by New South Wales Public Works and our inspector. Our aim is to minimise the number of trees that are at risk to the levee bank.

‘‘These trees are growing right within the levee and if there is a flood and a tree falls over it could rip a large part out of the levee bank.

‘‘Water tends to follow the roots causing errosion to pipes and the levee can eventually collapse as a result.

‘‘The main purpose of the tree cutting is to maintain the intergrity of the levee; if the levee bank fails there goes a large part of the town.

‘‘I understand where she (Mrs Stava) is coming from and there’s no enjoyment cutting down trees, but from the risk assessment the town must be protected.’’