Council urged to give 'bum tree' reprieve

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.

"The council must suspend all clearing and work with the community to find other ways to improve black spots and protect our natural environment at the same time.

"There must be other ways the council can improve Gerroa Road without widespread environmental damage, such as using traffic calming measures and upgrading the intersection."

Meantime a Kiama Municipal Council spokeswoman confirmed her council had no plans to clear trees along its section of the road.

The road, colloquially known as "the sand track", officially changes in name from Gerroa Road to Crooked River Road near the boundary between the two councils.

"Due to the low incidents of accidents along the Kiama Municipality section of the Seven Mile Beach road, Kiama does not presently qualify for black spot funding," the spokeswoman said.

"As such the clearing of trees along this section of road is not scheduled."

Shoalhaven City Council said there had been 73 reported crashes (including four fatal and 28 injury crashes) in the 17 years from 1996 to 2012 along Gerroa Road.

NSW Greens environment spokeswoman Dr Mehreen Faruqi.

NSW Greens environment spokeswoman Dr Mehreen Faruqi.

"Council's application for black spot funding was specifically targeted towards road safety improvements that address the crash history," the council said.


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