A stay of execution

The Russell Road fig trees stand proud and tall in Madeley, where residents spoke out to save them from the axe. Inset: Brian Williams being interviewed on the street last week.
The Russell Road fig trees stand proud and tall in Madeley, where residents spoke out to save them from the axe. Inset: Brian Williams being interviewed on the street last week.

Residents rallied last week to save them when they heard the 13 planted by late garden nursery king Barry Waldeck were destined for the chop yesterday.

Led by Brian Williams, whose property fronts seven of the 40-year-old figs, the residents collected enough signatures to call for a City of Wanneroo electors’ meeting to put the case to halt their demise.

It follows a council decision last month to act on a petition calling for their removal because of the fruit they dropped and perceived hazards to pedestrians.

Residents learnt of the trees’ fate through the Times‘ coverage, followed up last week by TV and radio crews.

Cr Brett Treby, who moved the original motion to remove the trees, told the Times on Thursday night ‘we formally advise we intend to lead, sign and support a revocation motion in regard to the fig trees’ at the August 19 council meeting.

‘We firmly believe that it is in the best interests of community harmony within the Madeley area around Russell Road as well as the interests of the residents of the wider City of Wanneroo,’ he said.

He said a revocation motion would provide ‘procedural certainty for the trees’ and ‘legal direction to cease tree removal and enable the council to consider other emerging options’, including retaining the trees, addressing risk matters and maintenance.

‘It is critical that immediate and concurrent action be taken to secure the risk previously identified,’ he said.