Wollongong's most controversial art installation, the 'palm up the pole', almost went up in flames overnight.
Luckily - or unluckily, depending on one's opinion of the piece - the blaze was quickly extinguished after the first call was made to Fire and Rescue NSW about 12.15am on New Year's Day, with just one truck attending.
Police said an unknown male was seen setting off fireworks at the base of the installation, while Crown Street Mall security staff reported a man threw a firecracker at the tree.
Most of the Cabbage Tree palm appeared unscathed, although the base holding its roots was damaged; however, the extent of the damage to the tree is unknown and arborists will now inspect its health.
Wollongong City Council will also barricade the area around the base of the pole.
Police will investigate the incident.
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