STORM DAMAGE: President of Landcare Bundaberg Mike Johnson inspects the devastation at Queens Park.
STORM DAMAGE: President of Landcare Bundaberg Mike Johnson inspects the devastation at Queens Park. Paul Donaldson BUN111117TREES3

Storm devastates a quarter of historic park

HISTORIC trees that used to stand tall in Queens Park, the Old Botanic Gardens snapped, twisted and fell like dominoes in the forceful whipping that was last week's storm.

Situated behind the Bundaberg Hospital, the park has been devastated by fast and furious winds and Bundaberg Landcare president Mike Johnson said it's all about climate change.

Having lived in Bundaberg for 50 years, Mr Johnson said he has seen a lot of destruction caused by weather, but nothing to this extent.

"Old heritage trees have been knocked down and about 25% of the park has been damaged,” he said.

"The trouble comes from having high intensity winds and high intensity rain.

"You see all the pollies standing around looking at the trees and no one is mentioning climate change.”

According to the local Landcare team, "these weather events are not normal and it is our few remaining trees particularly those which stand in open parks where lower storey vegetation has been removed that will take the brunt, forests that once surrounded Bundaberg have all been cleared for 'agribusiness' and there is nothing to stop the full impact of these winds when they roar in across the huge open spaces which surround this city”.

Mr Johnson said the answer is to grow thick forests which create natural windbreaks and trees which can withstand these new weather events.

"Have you ever been inside a big forest on a windy day? You wouldn't even know it's windy,” he told the NewsMail.

"People are worried about the fallen trees and are chopping everything up and cutting it all off, but you need to do so sensibly.

"These trees are our oxygen tanks and every one you cut down is less clean air, so please do not over-react and don't give up on our trees.”

With cyclone season quickly brewing, Mr Johnson said it is important for people to know the right type of tree and time to plant in order for them to grow and withstand storms in this region.

Mr Johnson is urging anyone with trees that need trimming or removing to contact professional arborist to undertake the job.



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