There are a few old Herald articles about Civic Park and Laman Street worth another look. These follow the progress of Civic Park redesign suggestions. (more…)
Archive for the ‘The Herald’ Category
There have been several attempts to remove these and other stands of figs throughout Newcastle. (more…)
I have just had a lovely celebratory lunch at a Newcastle restaurant with a view of Newcastle Beach. The weather put on a gorgeous show with sun, then dark clouds, misty rain, then torrential rain with thunder and lightning. It was stunning. It’s not the day to do research so I have some questions.
The first one is – why on earth do Edgeworth people put up with the most awful median strip in the entire world? It has a synthetic green covering that has faded over the years. What I truly don’t understand is how did someone actually come up with this idea, how did they convince others it was a worthwhile project, and why has there not been a general revolt against it? Edgeworth people deserve better.
I think this Green Stuff has been there for about a decade so you can’t say it doesn’t last well but wouldn’t concrete have been less offensive? And if They wanted it to look green couldn’t they have planted grass? If they didn’t want to mow it they could have planted something like the Callistemon Little John* that adorns the median strip on the New England Highway on the way to Maitland (along with New Zealand flax*). It’s hot enough out Edgeworth way as it is without something like this that doesn’t fool anyone into thinking nature is helping them to cope with the concrete jungle.
My next question is what motivates vandals? I was looking at the street trees in Hunter Street yesterday and came across this poor thing. Its neighbour was looking lovely. If a tree is on a route between pubs or nightclubs it’s going to be in trouble but you can’t imagine destroying a tree, no matter how much alcohol you’ve had to drink, can you? Hey – I know what we can do for fun – let’s wreck something.
Trees often have an unconscious effect even on people whose psyches are damaged. Living in a green suburb reduces road rage and domestic violence. Did you know people in hospital heal faster if they can see green outside their hospital window? And a view of trees lowers blood pressure. What a shame a small tree doesn’t calm a young drunk.
Young, drunk sociopaths aren’t the only people who vandalise trees - there was a story in the Herald yesterday about Dixon Park pines, recently planted, that have been destroyed. It’s not known whether it was wanton damage or whether it was done deliberatley by someone trying to maintain their view corridor (an even less forgivable form of wanton damage). I know where I’m putting my money.
Question number three is what is the point of a heritage register? The ugly photo of this vacant lot is where the Palais used to stand. There’s a great story about this in the online newcastle on hunter with some great pictures. I’m sure the powers that be have covered themselves perfectly good reasons for allowing this building to be destroyed. Have a look through the Heritage register as it applies to Newcastle. I count 14 items that are listed as demolished; there is a stand of trees that have died that are on there still and the Palais is there in black and white as still standing. I’m glad it hasn’t been updated – perhaps this is a deliberate policy – and that these are there to shame someone – although I suspect there is no shaming bureaucrats who allow things like this to happen or developers who are happy to see any trace of our heritage removed and replace it with yet another block of units that will probably sit empty a brand spanking new high rise building.
A reminder from the southern side of the harbour would be fitting as a commemoration of the ships and people lost and the bravery of their rescuers.
Question number five is – is there a town in Australia that has more figs per head of population than Newcastle? I don’t know the answer to this but the more you look the more you find. It’s heartening to see young ones planted here and there in public spaces.
My last question is did you know that Hunter Area Health rent that huge glass and sandstone thing on Hunter Street built to maintain some kind of health presence in the inner-city once the Royal was sold? I was shocked when I heard that. Paying rent.
* Please correct me if I’ve identified these wrongly.