OUR SAY: Damned if they do or don't

Storm damage at the Dicky Beach Caravan Park.
Storm damage at the Dicky Beach Caravan Park. Warren Lynam

THE frustration of Dicky Beach Caravan Park residents whose homes and vehicles were damaged in Sunday's storm is entirely understandable.

However, at the same time it's hard to be very critical of the council's handling of tree maintenance at the park.

On the one hand, residents say they've complained about some of the trees that colla- psed during the intense storm.

On the other, the council has had an arborist out looking at the trees and removing them where they judged necessary.

Should the trees have been removed? We don't know - we're not arborists. The expert the council sent to inspect the trees clearly thought not.

With the gift of hindsight it's easy to say the arborist was wrong. However, one of the residents also described 150kmh winds.

Regardless of their actual speed in this instance, super- cell storms are violent and by their very nature incredibly unpredictable.

If one were to go through the Sunshine Coast and remove every tree that could be uprooted in such unusual conditions we would likely denude a significant portion of the Coast's urban trees, in most cases needlessly.

Usually when a community expresses a view on trees in urban areas it's to defend them. After all, trees provide communities with shade and character. They attract birds and other forms of wildlife that further improve amenity. Once they've been around long enough they form part of a community's heritage and are mourned when they are lost.

The council has to keep trees safe, but it seems it will be damned whatever action it takes.

Topics:  storm sunshine coast council

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