Thursday, November 23, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

A Tree-mendous Tragedy

A neighbourhood dispute highlighted the overarching issue of urban greenery this week when a local couple witnessed the last remaining tree in the property adjacent to theirs culled to provide the new property owner with more space.

Mandy Coles and her husband Iyas Shaheen have resided in their Waterson Way address for 15 years and during that time they believed that the mango tree in question was located on a Council watercourse that ran between the two properties.

This was thrown into question several weeks ago when they were informed that the owner of the neighbouring property believed the tree was on his land and would be cutting it down.

The couple were furious because, not only does the tree produce delicious fruit each season, it was also the last remaining barricade that offered their property any privacy from the nearby road.

Councillor Jan Clifford attended the scene along with Mark Callaghan, Manager Parks and Gardens for Whitsunday Regional Council.

During the meeting it was decided that Council would pay for an independent survey to be conducted, the outcome of which confirmed the tree was indeed on the neighbour’s land.

As a result, the mango tree was cut down earlier this week.

This represents the sixth tree cut down on one property and, although the owner must re-plant within the next 12 months, it has permanently altered the urban canopy of the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, another concerned resident from Cannonvale wrote into the paper this week describing his uproar about several mature trees that were cut down to make room for the new Fire Station.

Works commenced this week at the site of the new station on the corner of Macartha Drive and Shute Harbour Road.

A resident of Banksia Court, a road that also borders the site, observed that several mature trees had been cut down, displacing countless roosting birds.

“We were completely dismayed that authorisation has been given to chop down these roosting trees,” he commented.

“I spied a gang of some 50 confused Sulphur Cockatoos circulating the now vacant block. They were wondering where their roosting tree had gone. I have lived here for a decade and the Cockies have roosted in these trees nightly for that time.”

These two separate incidents highlight the growing conversation surrounding the importance of preserving local trees.

Do you have a tree story to share? If so, send an email to

Councillor Jan Clifford attends the Waterson Way property to speak with owner Mandy Coles. Photo credit: Rachael Smith

In other news