A statement from Doug Lithgow President of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement.
In the early hours of the morning (Tues 31 Jan 2012) a large contingent of NSW Police were unleashed on the embattled citizens of Newcastle and their most significant landscape feature in the cultural heart of the city. (14 healthy innocent fig trees that have been quietly providing the Cultural Precinct in Laman Street with shade shelter and beauty for 50 years)
Newcastle people who love their city and appreciate the fine cathedral arch of trees in front of their Cultural Centre are perplexed that their new General; Manager and local Member of Parliament have called in a small army of police to subjugate the locals and ensure that they were not going to be given a lawful and formal chance to have say in the planning of their cultural precinct.
We had hoped that the Premier of NSW and the Minister for Local Government would have intervened long ago to bring good governance to the Council of the City of Newcastle rather than take it out on our notable trees and their noble defenders today.
Sadly for our City there are no minds being ennobled in this pointless and unnecessary exercise of brute force.
The Parks and Playgrounds Movement had asked the Newcastle Council to decide on a plan for the Cultural precinct as long ago as Aug/Sept 2010 and place their plan on public exhibition to allow public scrutiny. At this date Feb. 2012 the Council still hasn’t formally decided on a plan or placed it on exhibition for public examination. The people of NSW have a perfect right to have a say when a community land plan of management is affected but not in Newcastle!
President of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement
For further Comment Ring 041922 6897 or 49431781