Developers will have to live with "irreplaceable" teak tree
A 27-METRE high teak tree at Wollongbar will be saved, after Ballina Shire Council yesterday voted to tell the developers that they will not be allowed to chop it down.
The tree borders two duplex blocks in Clovelly Place in the Avalon Estate.
The developers had wanted to cut the tree down, saying it could cause problems in the future.
But Marilyn Perkins, from the Wollongbar Progress Association, said it was essential to keep the tree.
"The tree is very old," she said.
"The lowest branches are metres above the ground. You can still develop the land.
"This is the only large tree within this stage of the development."
Ms Perkins said there were two other teak trees in another development at Wollongbar that had not caused any problems in 28 years.
"There are no falling branches," she said.
"All you get is those little wooden pods that people actually pick up and collect."
Cr Robyn Hordern said the teak tree was there long before developers started "carving up" the land.
"I think it's a beautiful tree," she said.
"It's quite significant and it's not much to ask for a subdivision to keep one tree."
Councillors also said the developers were well aware that the teak tree had been earmarked for retention, because it was part of the approved plans.
"This tree is not replaceable," Cr Keith Williams said.
"It is a valuable thing. It was decided long ago that it should stay, and so it should stay."
Council staff said the teak tree could live for at least another 100 years if it was not disturbed.