The “Tree of Knowledge” (a co-joined group of fig trees) at the corner or High Street and Wansey Road Randwick was cut down last tonight (Sunday) as part of the CBD to South East Light Rail construction despite efforts by Randwick Green Councillor Murray Matson to put forward a reconfiguration solution.
Councillor Matson said last night when hearing of the removal,
“This is a deplorable decision made with no advance warning to Randwick City Council which was trying to broker a fine-tuning of the rail to miss the tree. I personally had a meeting with TfNSW and UNSW in an attempt to work out a possible solution whereby the line could have been shifted to run through some adjacent university owned property on the corner of High and Wansey. The Council understood that the Tree of Knowledge was not scheduled to be removed until November and was trying to work with the Government in good fail to achieve a win for the community. We received no warning that this understanding was not going to be honoured by tonight’s action.”
Councillor Matson reports that it now appears that preparations are being removed to remove a second iconic tree known as the Kingsford Gate Tree today or tonight from its site adjacent to South Juniors on Anzac Parade in Kingsford. He said today,
“Removal seems imminent as fencing has been erected around the Kingsford Gate Tree with workers patrolling inside. I have to accept that a meeting I had with TfNSW about this tree will also come to nothing despite putting forward another possible solution.”
As an elected Councillor I have to ask myself what is the point of trying to meet the Government halfway to ameliorate the impact of new public transport infrastructure if we continually get treated like we are the enemy.