Gerroa's bum tree falls despite protests

Read on for a social media summary of what is happening with the Gerroa Road bum tree on Thursday.

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D-Day for bum tree - South Coast Register

Council urged to give 'bum tree' reprieve - March 5

The NSW Greens have called on Shoalhaven City Council to halt plans to remove trees on Gerroa Road as "the battle of the bum tree" continues.

NSW Greens environment spokeswoman Dr Mehreen Faruqi said the removal of the 140 trees, some of which are hundreds of years old including the landmark "bum tree" would be a devastating blow to wildlife that relied on the trees for connectivity and habitat.

"Local residents have raised deep concerns about the lack of community consultation as well as the lack of environmental and scientific rigour of the reports underlying the council's decision," Dr Faruqi said.

Bum tree battle: 'We’ve had wool pulled over our eyes' - March 5

Shoalhaven Council's Director of Assets and Works Ben Stewart said he made the decision to clear the bush along Gerroa Road.

The only decision councillors had to make was awarding the tender for the work.

Council received black spot funding to widen Gerroa Road at the intersection with Beach Road and planned to remove a number of trees, including the Bum Tree.

“The decision to undertake the work under the Roads Act was my responsibility acting on behalf of council,” Mr Stewart said.

“An environmental appraisal was undertaken in January to provide National Parks [an opportunity to] comment,” Mr Stewart said.

“The regulations determine the work could be carried out under the Roads Act.”

A number of councillors revealed they had never seen the Review of Environmental Factors [REF] report into the clearing of the road.

VIDEO: Bum tree felling plan halted - Feb 25

The threat of legal action has brought a halt to work on removing the ‘‘bum tree’’ on Gerroa Road.

Shoalhaven City Council general manager Russ Pigg confirmed yesterday there had been a stay of execution for the tree until at least Friday due to possible legal action.

It is understood a case is being prepared to go before the Land and Environment Court to stop the tree’s removal.

“There is some sort of legal action pending, just where that goes at this stage I have no idea, but in the interim we have stopped any planned removal of the bum tree,” Mr Pigg said.

“After consulting our legal advisers we agreed to give the person proposing the legal action until the end of the week.”

Axe hangs over Gerroa Road's 'bum tree' - Dec 17

The end could be near for the "bum tree", the well-known landmark on Gerroa Road on the boundary between Kiama and Shoalhaven councils.

The tree is on the western edge of the road just north of the Beach Road intersection opposite the Seven Mile Beach State Park.

The tree has a couple of prominent bulges that protrude from the trunk, with the letters BUM and an arrow pointing to the bulges regularly repainted on the tree.

Who paints the words is a mystery. In the past, some holidaymakers have claimed responsibility, while there have also been published reports the tree represented a border between the areas of different Aboriginal groups on the South Coast.

- South Coast Register

Illawarra Mercury

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