Read on for a social media summary of what is happening with the Gerroa Road bum tree on Thursday.
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Work has sopped on the #bumtree after the discovery of rare gliders in one of the limbs. Waiting for clarification on legal ramifications.— South Coast Register (@SCRegister) March 13, 2014
Big thanks to Gerroa Env Protection Society for doing everything possible to save the #bumtree So sad to see the cathedral of trees gone.— Andrew Sloan (@AndrewKiama) March 13, 2014
Update: the gliders found have been confirmed as a yellow bellied glider and baby, a vulnerable species, very rare in NSW. #bumtree— Mark Whalan (@MWhalan) March 13, 2014
Confirmed as one greater glider adult no babies. We are told there are three habitat hollows in the #bumtree— Mark Whalan (@MWhalan) March 13, 2014
Cr Jim McCrudden is going ask the Local Govt Minister to sack Shoalhaven councillors and appoint an administrator over #bumtree— South Coast Register (@SCRegister) March 12, 2014
#bumtree protesters make your voices heard, but let those guys do0 their jobs. They didn't make the decision.— Scott Deakes ッ (@TheDeakesy) March 12, 2014
The end is near for the #bumtree as a crane removes a limb.— South Coast Register (@SCRegister) March 12, 2014
Robert Crawford reports from #bumtree that the tree is starting to come down amid honking on horns and cries of "vandalism".— South Coast Register (@SCRegister) March 12, 2014
Wildlife rescue volunteers inspect hunters branch # bumtree pic.twitter.com/OsGqWrS0o1— Robert Crawford (@RobSCRegister) March 12, 2014
Silly thing is all the light poles and street signs are closer to the road than any trees at Gerroa! #bumtree— DaisyKiamaCow (@KiamaBlowhole) March 12, 2014
Female bum tree protestor arrested pic.twitter.com/klT4gSPTW1— Robert Crawford (@RobSCRegister) March 12, 2014
Reports are coming in that protestors are tying themselves to the base of the Bum tree, due to be felled today. Via @973ABCIllawarra— Mark Whalan (@MWhalan) March 12, 2014
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.
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.”
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