Duck nest could see fig tree's final days delayed
A COUNCILLOR has appealed for removal of an historic fig tree to be delayed as rumours circulate about the fate of a wood duck nest.
A nest with eggs halted work on the removal of a fig, estimated to be up to 200 years old, on Castle Drive in Lennox Head on Tuesday.
Ballina Shire's deputy mayor Keith Williams has lodged a Notice of Motion for this month's council meeting to allow the eggs to hatch and the ducklings to leave the nest naturally.
"Once they've reached that point and they've all left the nest there's no issue," Cr Williams said.
Cr Williams said this was expected to take 85 days in total.
He said he had been advised the council had intended to move the nest.
Cr Williams acknowledged the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage found there was "no currently documented" evidence of the site's possible Aboriginal cultural heritage.
He said excavation of the site could reveal further information.
He said delaying the rest of the chop could allow protesters more time to build a case for saving the tree, he said.
Cr Williams said he was "concerned" by reports of abuse and harassment of residents whose homes had been damaged by the tree's roots.
"I wasn't there on the Monday morning ...when tempers really flared," he said.
"I certainly did witness people yelling at the contractors and anyone they saw was near the tree.
"Passions were certainly strong. I don't like to see anybody subject to abuse and I think it's regrettable if that's happened."
Ballina mayor David Wright said he was aware of Cr William's Notice of Motion.
"We're getting it checked out," he said.
In beginning to remove the tree on Monday and Tuesday this week, council staff and contractors were acting on a resolution made at a meeting in November last year.