Protected tree accidentally killed

A RARE and protected tree was mistakenly cut down by a Tweed Shire Council work crew on Friday.

The hicksbeachia pinnatifolia, commonly known as a red bopple nut tree, was located on Upper Durobby Creek Road and is native to subtropical rainforests in New South Wales and Queensland

A spokesperson from the Tweed Shire Council said the incident occurred when a council work crew was performing their regular role of clearing roadside vegetation.

“Unfortunately, the regular ganger for the crew was not on duty on the particular day when the bopple nut was felled.

“He may have had knowledge of the value of the tree as he had worked along that road for many years,” the spokesperson said.

“Council apologises to neighbours and Landcare groups for any distress the loss of this tree has caused.

“It was an unfortunate mistake and one that council is keen not to repeat.

“Council will consider reviewing its internal practices to ensure this.”

Co-ordinator of Upper Durobby Creek Landcare Jan Sinclair said the red bopple nut tree was a great loss to the area.

“This is a threatened species that has been destroyed; I stopped it from being cut down 15 years ago when I insisted the road be built around it,” Ms Sinclair said. “We have always looked after this tree.”

Ms Sinclair said the tree would have been instrumental in preserving and expanding the hicksbeachia pinnatifolia species throughout the region.

“This tree was a seed bank to allow more trees to grow in the area,” she said.

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