Outrage as giant '150-year-old' eucalypt felled for new KFC
KFC has failed to explain its reasons for felling a giant old eucalypt moluccana tree as it prepares the site for its new East Bundaberg outlet.
Several trees were removed from the site on 93Bargara Rd but it's the loss of the biggest tree that has caused the most public outrage.
Bargara woman Jan Thomas said she was dismayed when she realised what had happened to the "magnificent old trees".
"These trees must have been hundreds of years old and softened the very industrial eastern entry to Bundaberg," she said.
"I was cheered recently by the council actually beginning to plant a few street trees along Bargara road in that vicinity but neither myself, my children or future grandchildren will be alive to see them reach the height of the trees so thoughtlessly felled last week.
"It is hard to believe in times of evident climate change with more and more extreme weather events that we continue to destroy our natural assets."
Ms Thomas said it was distressing that an area that she believed to once have been a natural spring would "no doubt" soon be covered with "shadeless concrete" and "featureless buildings".
Her sentiments were echoed by Landcare president Mike Johnson, who said he believed the massive eucalypt was one of the region's original remaining bushland trees.
"In our approximation this tree would have to be over 150 years old, if not much older and was one of the finest specimens of this type we have ever seen," he said.
"This attitude to trees hundreds of years old fairly well epitomises the appalling attitude of man at present to his environment and his total lack of respect for the very things that give us oxygen and beautify our lives every day."
Mr Johnson said the tree had been a "glimpse of magnificence".
"Many years ago Bundaberg Landcare wrote to the original owner of this land requesting that they always preserve those trees, we never did receive a reply back," he said.
"From the moment that we saw thousands of tonnes of soil being placed on this block, we knew that these beautiful trees were under threat."
Mr Johnson said he also held fears around the earth being dumped on the site.
"If you put a brick in a bucket of water it's going to make the level rise and the dumping of earth on this site is the equivalent resulting in displacement of water elsewhere," he said.
"It should also be noted that this site held a small natural spring very close to these gum trees... . Natural springs are also supposed to be protected as a special place under the Environmental Act - not so under toothless environmental laws it seems as it was simply bulldozed over with landfill."
Mr Johnson said it was ironic a natural, beautiful tree had been destroyed to make way for a fast food outlet - one of many in a city battling obesity.
"What a monument to stupidity this combination surely is," he said.
KFC did not respond to the NewsMail's request for comment.
Plans for the new store were revealed in October this year and followed myriad calls from locals for a third outlet in the city.
There is currently a KFC on Takalvan St and another at Hinkler Central.