At last week’s Clarence Valley Council meeting, Cr Andrew Baker asked: “Are there still some large trees to be planted?”
Councillor Baker asked the question in response to the fourth McLachlan Park redevelopment status report.
The council’s works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said he would have to take the question on notice and, responding to a request from Cr Baker to receive the information via email over the “next few days”, said: “I will clarify that when I refer back to the motion – I think the motion [wasn’t for] super advanced trees; that was a previous decision.”
Mr Anderson was referring to a decision made at the March 2016 council meeting, which, in turn, referred to the February meeting’s decision to receive a report in March that “estimated costs and constraints … to remove existing [camphor laurel] trees and immediately plant super advanced trees of a suitable type on the centre line of the north-south park alignment”.
Given that the December report to council states that “removal and replacement of the 2 most southern camphor laurel trees (within area 1)” was 100 per cent complete, the Independent asked Mr Anderson in an emailed enquiry: “Can… people expect to see ‘super advanced trees of a suitable type [planted] on the centre line of the north-south park alignment’?”
Mr Anderson replied: “Planting was targeted for November, this planting was delayed following submission of report due to low rainfall and high temperatures, Council plans to plant 3 x 400 litre Eleaocarpus emundii (Smooth Leaf Quandong), 1 x 100 litre Harpullia pendulla (Australian Tulipwood) to replace the tree at entry to car park, 480 shrubs / groundcovers (Matt Rush; Golden Guinea Vine; Purple Coral Pea; Fairy Fan Flower) and the 300m2 turf has been planted.”
The Independent also asked if there was an alternative to the planting of “super advanced” trees and, if so, “why has [the alternative planting] not followed the council’s decision?”
Mr Anderson replied: “Trees will be planted; … as per comment [above], plant material is held at Council’s community nursery, weather conditions required the postponement of planting.”
When asked if the two tables and seats installed at the park’s southern end would have integral shading installed, Mr Anderson replied: “No,” and that “no other infrastructure” was planned for that portion of the park.
He said “two pontoons are planned” and referred to the October council meeting, which accepted a $302,934.23 tender to Pacific Pontoon & Pier Operations for “Supply and Installation of Pontoons at McLachlan Park”, with the addition of a step-down platform ($6,270) at the rear of the [new] pontoon [at the northern end of the park] and a sewage pump out system ($36,960).
Installation of the new pontoon is scheduled to start on February 8 and, “following commissioning of this structure, the existing pontoon will be removed, works undertaken and reinstalled by 28 February 2017”, the December report to council states.
Meanwhile, the budget for the $1,294,700 project has been exhausted, which means new money will be needed to complete the second stage of the park’s redevelopment.
The Independent has sighted a CVC ‘opinion of probable cost’ document associated with the council’s application for a $1.8m federal government ‘boardwalk’ grant (however, there is no boardwalk in the council’s application), which estimates the centre of the park (stage2) will cost $464,170 to complete.