At 100 years-of-age each, the worthiness, usefulness and appropriateness of three of Bellingen’s finest and most honoured citizens, is once more in question. This is not the first time their lives have been under threat. Reprieved from execution some years ago, by popular outcry, the gentle trio are once more headed for the chopping block.
This time around, it seems, Bellingen’s Mayor himself will act as executioner. The three old trees that have arched above, protected and enriched the centre of Bellingen village for an entire century will be axed down, dragged off and dumped on the mindless rubbish heap ... if the caring people of Bello, and all others who visit and share coffee, laughter and talk in that much loved shade, don’t rise up loud and strong in protest ... right now.
For those who are mindful and aware, the relationship between humans and trees is a precious and deeply ingrained one. We build gardens, we plant and nurture trees, we feature them in artwork and photography, we seek out their shade, honour them in film and poetry, we consume their fruits and, yes, when all else fails... we hug them. This world needs every tree it has, and many more, if we can ever return to a natural balance. The very idea of executing and dumping these three, grand and noble, woody citizens of Bellingen town is a transparently stupid idea.
Ron Sims, Moonee Beach
As a visitor to Bellingen, I was impressed by the beauty of the town with its huge trees shading the streets. Without these trees, Bellingen would be just one more characterless country town. To remove even one of these trees would be an act of unforgivable vandalism. Have those people wanting to remove the trees thought that less tourists will be attracted to spend time in Bellingen and that local businesses will be affected?
Sandra Myers, Sydney
It is blatantly obvious that since Bob Brown retired, the Australian Greens are just another political party who, once voted in, totally ignore the wishes and values of the people they supposedly represent. This is no more obvious than in Bellingen, where we now have a Green Mayor, who is quite happy to side with the rest of council and sign off on the destruction of three historic 100-year-old trees in the town centre, which have served us well for many years, by shading our cafe strip, adding to the ambience of our village centre.
In stark comparison, in Europe, the Green parties are growing hugely in popularity as they truly represent their communities by preserving the natural environment, planting more trees, campaigning for clean energy and preserving old growth forests and the habitat of precious wildlife.
Surely in Bellingen there must be other members of our community who are just as disgusted as I am with our council. If so, please let your voices be heard and fight for our trees before it is too late!
I have done a survey of many of my friends in Coffs Harbour, who love Bellingen and also bringing visitors from around Australia as well as overseas. They have all confirmed that without the trees in Church St this village would lose so much of its character, as well as their business, as they would never go to the cafes there, but instead take their business elsewhere.
Perhaps if you don't care for the trees, at least care enough to ensure the survival of these businesses, by fighting to keep the trees!
Ziggy Koenigseder, Bellingen
I have read with dismay that the Bellingen Council is again planning to eliminate the beautiful shade trees in Church St, having been given a grant from the State Government to do so. What a waste. Common sense must prevail! Roads and bridges for example, would benefit from grants like this.