URBAN FOOD STREET CLEARED: Buderim fruit trees destroyed on one of the Sunshine Coast's most iconic streets, outraging residents, (foreground) Zoe Kamarainos and Lisa Edward.
URBAN FOOD STREET CLEARED: Buderim fruit trees destroyed on one of the Sunshine Coast's most iconic streets, outraging residents, (foreground) Zoe Kamarainos and Lisa Edward. Patrick Woods

Mayor: Why we destroyed Urban Food Street

SUNSHINE Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson says this morning's destruction of Buderim's Urban Food Street is "at the heart of what local laws are all about".

Cr Jamieson understood the public space in front of three properties on Clithero Ave, which had been home to a number of citrus trees, had been cleared because one property owner had refused to finalise a permit.

Cr Jamieson said the council had been left with "no option but to clear the footpath in front of his property" as the property owner had not got the appropriate level of insurance sorted, despite repeated warnings.

"This is at the heart of what local laws are all about to some extent," Cr Jamieson said.

"Whether it's managing dangerous dogs or managing scarce parking facilities, this is another example of council trying to work with the community to get a favourable outcome.

"And to the credit of a large number of people in that area, they've applied for a permit, which council has provided to them free of charge, and they can continue to enjoy... the footpath gardening."

Cr Jamieson said the particular property owner had "sought to just make it difficult for himself and for council so at the end of the day there's no point in council having laws if they're not going to enact them".

"After long and fruitless negotiation with this property owner we've been left without any option but to remove the vegetation from what is public space and that was done this morning," he said.

Urban Food Street, the brainchild of Duncan McNaught and Caroline Kemp, had gained a cult following, with celebrity gardener Costa Georgiadis among those strongly supportive of the concept, which had brought young and old together in the street.

Cr Jamieson said he was a supporter of Urban Food Street and had been all along, but the reality was the council had to have local laws managing public space so the community wasn't exposed in the event of any injury, accident or worse.

What do you think of Urban Food Street's clearing?

This poll ended on 03 June 2017.

Current Results

A real shame, very heavy-handed from the council


It's fair enough, public liability is important


I don't understand why it was a problem in the first place


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

There may be more clearing to come, with Division 7 Councillor Ted Hungerford advising there were four residents who they hadn't heard from, whose compliance notices were due on June 1 and June 5.

He said if those residents chose the same path, this would "unfortunately be the end result for them as well".

Cr Hungerford said the property owner was likely to be billed for today's felling, which Daily reporters on the scene estimated had resulted in about 15 trees being cleared.

"I believe there probably will be a bill sent to the resident responsible for creating the issue there," Cr Hungerford said.

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