Fire bug dooms heritage tree

• Greg Smith says council negligence contributed to this historic tree’s destruction. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

• Greg Smith says council negligence contributed to this historic tree’s destruction. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

An arsonist has set fire to an historic tree in Halliday Park in Bayswater.

Neighbour Greg Smith says Bayswater city council is partly to blame because of poor maintenance: It hadn’t cleaned the peppermint tree of leaf litter, providing ready fuel as the weather warmed.

Mr Smith says after only a cursory inspection, two council workers declared the damaged tree had to be cut down.

“This negligence should not facilitate tree removal and destruction,” the former council planner says.

Two other trees in the park had already been removed by council, prompting Mr Smith to question Bayswater’s “garden city” motto.

The council says it will seek an arborist’s report before making a final decision.

by DAVID BELL

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