Emily Johnston next to the massive, estimated 80-year-old mango tree in Wattle St, Cooroy.
Emily Johnston next to the massive, estimated 80-year-old mango tree in Wattle St, Cooroy. Alan Lander

Tree saviour says read developer signs

WHEN Cooroy's Emily Johnston saw the development sign go up next door to her Wattle St property, she didn't sigh in resignation.

She wanted to 'make a difference'.

Especially when she realised an 80-year-old mango tree, shading her property, was going to be destroyed to make way for a driveway to a proposed unit development.

The driveway was there in preference to it opening out on to heavy vehicle bypass Garnet St, which council planning staff had concerns about - except Wattle St was barely less busy.

And a mango tree stood in the way.

But she plucked her courage to take it to Noosa Council where, initially, she felt nothing might change, so she compiled a local petition with 455 signatures opposing the tree cut.

The petition proved needless as councillors came out to visit the site, saw the majesty of the tree, checked the traffic situation, and realise the driveway location could be re-configured to ensure the tree remained.

"I have to give my gratitude to councillors, especially Crs Stockwell, Jurisevic and Wilkie, who listened, understood and cared,” Emily said.

"They went well above and beyond, and the tree is now saved.

"[And] to be thanked by council for bringing it to their attention was very humbling.”

"So many criticise council, but when people see a notice advising of a potential development application they don't check; it's important for people to read them and look at the impact, but they leave it to others to do something.

At a council meeting, Cr Jurisevic said "we need not to just look at the category of streets, but need to look at transport needs and activities of those streets”.

"Lower and higher order streets may be there on paper, but we need to have a realistic understanding of the traffic levels around the CBD in towns like Cooroy,” Cr Jurisevic said.

Cr Stockwell said before the new planing scheme was finalised, "we should be looking at precinct planning and place-making at a finer level of details that takes in the nature and character of older buildings and trees that create the character of our towns”.

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