Community & Business

21 February, 2024

No trees allowed

A YUNGABURRA property owner wants to know why a community group has been refused approval to plant some trees on an unused piece of land near Peterson Creek.

The area known as Williams Lane, which is designated as a road reserve, where a local landcare group wants to plant trees.
The area known as Williams Lane, which is designated as a road reserve, where a local landcare group wants to plant trees.

Williams Lane is designated as a road reserve but is covered with grass, with cattle regularly grazing on the land which leads to the popular Peterson Creek walking track.

Decades ago, the lane used to be connected to Penda Street via a bridge over the creek which eventually rotted away.

“The stumps are still there from the old bridge and Williams Lane has not been used as a road way for more than 50 years and is unlikely to ever be required for vehicular passage,” Oak Street resident Deryck Thompson said.

“Landowners on either side of Williams Lane do not need to access it as they have direct access elsewhere to the Yungaburra-Atherton road (Gilles Range Road).

“Why will council not allow volunteers to plant trees on Williams Lane?”

Mr Thompson and his wife sometimes walked along the “lane” and could envision what it could be like if the Yungaburra Landcare Group was allowed to undertake its proposed re-vegetation project.

The group submitted its proposal to the council, which would have included planting of Mabi Forest species to connect existing tree planting at Peterson Creek with Curtain Fig Tree National Park to create a wildlife corridor..

The land, which is 600 metres long and 35 metres wide, would feature a cycling/walking trail, and seating and picnic areas.

The group was set to source the trees to be planted from TREAT (Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands) and mass plantings would be undertaken by volunteers from those organisations and the general community.

The group even guaranteed there would be no extra work for council if the project went ahead, promising that ongoing maintenance of the area would be undertaken by Yungaburra Landcare.

But the council says even though the land has not been used for road purposes in half a century, it could not be used for other purposes at this time.

“Tablelands Regional Council will not progress your request at this point in time as the proposed use of Williams Lane is not aligned with the purpose of the road reserve and because council has not established an agreed position on the future use of Williams Lane,” CEO Gary Rinehart said in a letter to the landcare group.

Mr Rinehart advised that council was “committed to working” with the group on projects “where these align with our corporate goals and strategies”.

Meanwhile, Mr Thompson says cattle from a private property are allowed to graze on the land and has raised questions about the appropriateness of that given that “some livestock owners are concerned about biosecurity and I am concerned that these cattle grazing on Williams Lane may contract diseases like lumpy skin etc from members of the public walking on this public land”.


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