HABITAT: Willy Newman is keen to see vegetation protected across the entire shire.
HABITAT: Willy Newman is keen to see vegetation protected across the entire shire. Zhanae Conway-Dodd

One woman's mission to save beloved CQ vegetation

BYFIELD resident Wilhelmina Newman is gearing up for a busy New Year with new determination in her role with the Byfield Habitat group to save vegetation across the Livingstone Shire region.

Wilhelmina said she will be taking part in conversations with Livingstone Council and other concerned residents to establish a method of saving significant trees and pockets of vegetation in the most effective method possible.

"The Byfield habitat group was formed in 2017 when locals discovered old trees on Byfield Road north of Polka Creek were to be cleared in a hazard reduction exercise,” Wilhelmina said. "Locals were appalled and soon moved to lobby against the destruction.

"The group worked with representatives from Livingstone Shire Council, Main Roads and the Transport Department to convince them the trees were not a hazard.

The shaded picnic area at Waterpark Creek, Byfield.
The shaded picnic area at Waterpark Creek, Byfield. Tamara MacKenzie

"We also liaised with the Defence Department.

"Fortunately, TMR were prepared to see our point of view and the beautiful cathedral trees are still standing.”

The group were not content to sit on their hands as they witnessed other mass clearing throughout the Livingstone Shire.

"Having noticed what seemed to be a chainsaw epidemic, especially in new housing estates and public spaces including the beachfront, the high school and Old Rocky Road, we knew that something had to change before we lose our heritage,” she said.

"Livingstone Shire once had a tree protection policy and we want to see that policy brought back and taken to a new level.

"We have now met with Council and a number of other concerned residents and have arranged another meeting in the next few weeks to progress this initiative further.

"Our shire needs its own significant tree/vegetation register, working together I believe we can all make a difference to our shire and protect the natural environment and hence an important part of our history.

"Council have indicated it will form a working group in a bid to make our dream a reality.”



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