COMMUNITY: A group of passionate locals met in November last year to talk about issues concerning them in the region.
COMMUNITY: A group of passionate locals met in November last year to talk about issues concerning them in the region. Georgia Simpson

Tree species negotiated

A GROUP of passionate locals with the region's best interest at heart have had a small win.

Research began in October surrounding the selected species of tree planned to be part of the Airlie Beach Foreshore Revitalisation project, and concern was held for the Ficus Benjamina, as that particular species is not suited to a cyclone prone climate.

A report by Greening Australia, states that 55.35 per cent of green waste generated in Townsville by Cyclone Yasi came from five tree species which resulted in a $55 million damage bill.

Ficus Benjamina, also known as the weeping fig, was one of the five species responsible for the damage, and with that in mind the group took their concerns to the Whitsunday Regional Council - and the council listened and has acted accordingly.

Community member Jacquie Sheils said the small group met with the council in October to discuss the selection of species.

"They asked, 'if you could change one thing, what would you change?' And we all said it would be the Ficus Benjaminia as 49 is far too many for a lot of reasons.”

Whitsunday Regional Council Parks and Gardens Manager Mark Callaghan confirmed there would be some amendments for the species chosen to be planted, with the problem species being replaced with the Scaly Ash, a graceful medium-sized, coastal shade tree and the Mimusops Elengi, also a medium-sized tree and known as the Spanish Cherry.

"I think it's the best we could have achieved given the tight timelines and the lateness of the project,” Mrs Sheils said.


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