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Residents left in 'shock' after beachside tree chopped down without public notice

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A mature beachside tree “chopped down to a stump” has been met with disappointment from locals, who say it disappeared suddenly.

Moffat Beach local Kaye Fox was left surprised and saddened when she showed up to her weekly yoga class last Friday at Eleanor Shipley Park to find one of its pandanus trees gone.

The popular park at Moffat Beach stretches from Tooway Lake to Seaview Terrace and makes up part of the suburb’s foreshore area.

It’s not the first time tree felling has occurred in the beachside suburb, after a Norfolk Island hibiscus was removed in August 2023 and two Norfolk pine trees were taken out in April 2022.

Sunshine Coast Council told Sunshine Coast News the tree, located near the beach shower, was deemed a risk to public safety after prolonged wet weather caused it to deteriorate.

A spokesperson said the tree required immediate removal, meaning the council was unable to unable to notify the public.

The tree was near the beach shower at Eleanor Shipley Park, Moffat Beach.

“Due to prolonged wet weather conditions a large portion of the tree was collapsing and the tree needed to be removed for public safety reasons,” the spokesperson said.

“This required immediate removal of the tree and therefore unfortunately community notification was not possible.”

Ms Fox, who has been doing yoga in the park for 15 years, said she was disappointed in the lack of information provided to the community prior to the tree’s removal.

“We are all devastated,” she said.

“This was a beautiful, shared pandanus tree that provided shelter and shade from the vicious summer sun and was home for countless small creatures and birds to perch, not to mention children, families, sunbathers, picnickers, musicians and yogis.

“You see, it’s not just a ‘yoga’ tree that we sit under every week … it also served everyone in the community and our visitors, offering beauty and rest and respite, in a strip offering little shade or trees.

“We saw no community consultation, and we see no justification for the wanton destruction of this beautiful tree.”

An aerial view of Eleanor Shipley Park. Picture: Nearmap

Ms Fox said she hoped the council would provide a mature tree replacement alternative as soon as possible.

Related story: Seawall crumbles: people urged to steer clear

The council spokesperson confirmed a replacement pandanus would be replanted at the location but did not specify when.

“Council will continue to create beautiful, natural spaces for our community and visitors to enjoy,” they said.

The aerial imagery in this story is from Australian location intelligence company Nearmap. The company provides government organisations, architectural, construction and engineering firms, and other companies with easy, instant access to high-resolution aerial imagery, city-scale 3D content, artificial intelligence data sets, and geospatial tools to assist with urban planning, monitoring and development projects in Australia, New Zealand and North America.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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