Outdated Council engineering symptom of failed merger
What a great disappointment it is to read (Peninsula News edition 474) that Central Coast Council, on National Tree Day, is actively stopping residents from planting trees on streets where residents welcome this major enhancement of their ambience and enjoyment.
What a pathetic act by our Council and wrong-headed reasoning that underground infrastructure is a restraint to the growing of trees.
And then I read that it is Council engineers doing the blocking, that would be the same engineers that told us that we would have to turn our creeks into concrete spoon drains with turfed banks with no trees or vegetation, after they approved the filling by developers in what was once Lake Ettymalong.
When the residents pushed back, engineers with experience in environmental systems and sympathetic to a natural, cheaper and more effective solution were engaged, and the city's engineers were forced to concede that we could have both natural systems and efficient 'drains' that functioned much better than Council's ugly and expensive concrete.
So sad that Council's engineers are stuck in the past.
Underground infrastructure if constructed properly will not be unduly affected by big trees.
The sewer pipes, if they don't leak, will not be damaged by tree roots in most cases.
On the sandplain, the trees grow their roots down to the water table.
The same is true for the water mains, only if the pipes leak (and they shouldn't), will tree roots bother the pipes.
Why would they, when ample water and nutrients are present in the sand?
Of course, there will be occasions when large tree roots bend and break a pipe, large trees occasionally are knocked about by wild weather and do drop branches big and small.
My information is that the cost of repair to underground pipes is cheaper than removing a big tree, which is Council's preferred option.
The benefits accrued by avenues of trees are well documented, the shade and cooling are a small part of a bigger picture.
Fortunately, we have residents like the Grow Urban Street Trees group that are well informed and prepared to try to fix the problems of the past.
In contrast to this excellent community action, today I found that Council has destroyed yet another group of trees, one that was planted by Council, one four-metre tall 10-year-old volunteer paperbark and others that have been grown, nurtured and tended by residents for three years.
These trees on Iluka Creek were planted to stabilize the creek bank.
They also provided shade on the water to stop weed growth in the creek, now we will be left with weeds and constant siltation, Council's preferred option it seems.
All this two days after National Tree Day and one day after Ettymalong Creek Landcare members planted another 30 trees in an area fenced by Council to stop Council workers mowing them down for a second time in an area where Council workers had begun to mow previous plantings and were only stopped by chance.
This merged Council is daily proving a failure.
In the hottest part of the Coast, this is the reality we are forced to confront regularly: an out-of-touch Council with no comprehension of environmental sustainability and a disengaged citizenry trodden down by this careless anti-democracy.
Email, 1 Aug 2019
Bryan Ellis, Umina