Christian Patteson, Horticulturalist at Hawks Nest speaks on Midcoast Council

Tea Gardens Waterfront Trees

Dear News Of The Area,

SOME might like the new view that has opened up on the Tea Gardens waterfront.

But come summer it won’t be pleasant there if you take the family for a picnic .

Unless ofcourse you want a rather communal experience with strangers on the intimate shelter tables.

What utter incompetence on council’s part.

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That is even worse. Council decision makers who are supposedly wise custodians of our open space don’t live here and are obviously way out of touch with reality.

What makes it truly shameful though is the continual ignoring of our collective local knowledge, advice  and our desires .

Council, please explain why you have not removed the Coral Tree near the CO-OP.

Surrounded by asphalt and enduring multiple roadworks over the years surely it is worse than those other bonsaied  tough specimens you have last week destroyed.

What about the one near the library and children’s playground?

That one is growing in better soil which causes tall growth and top-heaviness and much greater vulnerability.

An even worse sign of  incompetence is the existence of the one  (now two, maybe more )  right behind your very own  Tea Gardens Office .

That bunch is spreading into the bush as they do when grown in such a location.

Council when you are sitting in that office at meetings do you even  know what you are looking out the window at?

The waterfront ones were contained – the possibility of them becoming a weed was impossible, the ones next to your headquarters are spreading in front of your face .

Council, apart from Coral trees did you not see nearly every species of tree fail at times during storms over the last several years?  Why haven’t you removed all of those?

We are the true owners of the land, not the council. Why don’t we ignore council as it ignores us  and make our own suitable plantings.

A trial of several species might be required to see what grows in that exposed location which has salty poor backfill type soil.

Hibiscus tiliaceus or Cottonwood  is the name of  the plant Philip Everett recently wrote about .

It is salt tolerant growing throughout the coastal Pacific Rim including Australia.

It is used widely on the Newcastle Foreshore as a street and park tree.

It can be trained to do just the job required at Tea Gardens.

It was in fact one of the suggestions made by the Marine Drive Reference Group.

Whatever is planted, it is going to take years for anything to grow in that location.

Therefore if you are young couple just about to start a family, think about summer picnics with your grandchildren not your children .

Council you don’t know appear to know what you are doing regarding the management of our foreshores and you should be ashamed.


Christian Patteson (Horticulturalist)

Hawks Nest

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