Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Outrage over Tree Removal on Coast; Council Says Felled Pines Not Part of War Memorial

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Outrage over Tree Removal on Coast; Council Says Felled Pines Not Part of War Memorial

Article excerpt

Byline: Michelle Gately michelle.gately@capnews.com.au

YEPPOON residents have aired their outrage on social media at the removal of trees they claim are part of the town's war memorial plantings.

Speculation started on the Yeppoon Families group after an article published in a community newspaper.

Dozens of people commented on the posts, describing their anger at the removal of the trees.

But Livingstone Shire Council representatives told The Morning Bulletin the trees removed were not protected on the Queensland Heritage Register.

The Yeppoon War Memorial listing on the register includes the avenues of trees located over Anzac Pde, James St and Normanby St, as well as the Obelisk in Beaman Park.

As part of the lagoon precinct in the foreshore development, several hoop pines were removed from the southern end of Anzac Pde near the old hospital site, provoking outrage online.

The memorial trees were planted in 1921 and 1984 to commemorate Yeppoon servicemen lost in the First and Second World Wars.

"Together they create an integrated precinct of remembrance for the international conflicts in which Australia participated," the register stated.

"The First World War had an enormous impact on the Australian population.

"Of those who went to war, almost one in five did not return. It was common for families to lose more than one son and for small communities to lose a whole generation of men."

The register stated this unprecedented loss of life, coupled with the impracticality of visiting graves of relatives buried overseas, led to war memorials becoming a public expression of grief.

"Placed in prominent locations, such as planting of memorial trees in Yeppoon's main thoroughfares, they became symbols of remembrance and were considered to be as sacred as gravesites," the register stated.

In 1921, native Australian hoop pines, selected for their longevity, were planted at The Esplanade (later re-named Anzac Pde), James St and Normanby St.

By the 1940s, the pines in James St were struggling and most of the memorial plaques for individual soldiers, originally under the James St pines, had disappeared. …

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