Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

RTA Doesn't Give a Fig for Tree; Wollongbar Giant Has a Girth of 12 Metres, but Will Have to Make Way for Alstonville Bypass

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

RTA Doesn't Give a Fig for Tree; Wollongbar Giant Has a Girth of 12 Metres, but Will Have to Make Way for Alstonville Bypass

Article excerpt

Byline: MEL MCMILLAN mel.mcmillan@northernstar.com.au

NOBODY knows how long its thick roots have bored into the earth at Wollongbar.

But Maurice Collins, who once owned the land - almost opposite Rifle Range Road on the Bruxner Highway - on which the giant Moreton Bay fig with a girth of 12 metres stands, said it probably predated white settlement in about 1880.

By the end of this week the tree, along with a smaller fig, a red cedar and a red bean tree, will be hacked down to make way for the Alstonville bypass.

"We can't fight it," Mr Collins said.

The RTA seized the 1.2ha on which the trees stand from the Collins family last year.

"They are allowed to do it," Mr Collins said.

Mr Collins has lovingly cared for the fig tree since he bought the property nine years ago.

He cut back the camphor laurels and other weeds that once choked it.

Now, under its branches, rainforest has spontaneously begun to regenerate with Bangalow palms, tamarind, rosewood, teak, cudgerie and tallowwood. …

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