Petition to save heritage-listed fig tree at Cronulla goes to council

Nathan Hunt (left) and Cr Michael Forshaw, who will present the petition to the council. Picture: Chris Lane
Nathan Hunt (left) and Cr Michael Forshaw, who will present the petition to the council. Picture: Chris Lane

A petition calling for a heritage-listed Moreton Bay Fig tree at Cronulla to be spared the axe will be presented at the meeting of Sutherland Shire Council on Monday night.

Sutherland Greens co-convenors Nathan Hunt  and Sarah Attfield said most of the 365 signatures were collected over just two days at the Cronulla Spring Fair.

The petition was given to Labor councillor Michael Forshaw, who will present it to the the council.

Signs placed around the tree asking for people to sign the petition. Picture: supplied

Signs placed around the tree asking for people to sign the petition. Picture: supplied

 The sprawling fig tree is embedded in the road pavement in Wilbar Avenue near the corner of Kingsway, opposite the BP service station.

The tree is identified as an item of local heritage significance under Sutherland Shire LEP 2015.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) plans to install traffic lights to assist traffic turning right towards the train station and South Cronulla.

Sutherland Shire Council has endorsed the proposal subject to public consultation.

Set to go: The tree in Wilbar Avenue, near the corner of Kingsway, has long been part of Cronulla's streetscape. Picture: John Veage

Set to go: The tree in Wilbar Avenue, near the corner of Kingsway, has long been part of Cronulla's streetscape. Picture: John Veage

Mr Hunt said the response to the petition from the community was overwhelming.

“We had people coming up constantly over both days of the spring fair, asking us where the petition was to save the tree,” he said.

“As a long time resident of South Cronulla and a current resident of North Cronulla, I can say that traffic lights at the intersection of Wilbar Avenue and Kingsway will not assist traffic flow.

“The choke point of the traffic in this area is the roundabout at Tonkin Oval and further up past the station.

“Traffic lights at Wilbar Avenue will make traffic worse for people leaving Cronulla in the afternoon.

”The only real way to assist with traffic in Cronulla is public transport and the council and state government committing to building the cycleway that has been talked about for several years.”

Sarah Attfield said a woman motorist saw the Save the Tree sign on the threatened fig and “started honking her horn and screaming to the point her children thought she was going crazy”.

“She then made it her mission to find our stall at the spring fair and sign the petition,” Ms Attfield said.