Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Clarence Valley Council to pay $300,000 for removal of culturally significant scar tree

Clarence Valley Council to pay $300,000 for removal of culturally significant scar tree
January 2, 2019

Clarence Valley Council has been ordered to pay $300,000 after pleading guilty to destroying a scar tree which is culturally significant to Aboriginal people in Grafton and the Clarence Valley.

NSW Office of Environment (OEH) Executive Director Conservation and Regional Delivery, Derek Rutherford, said this outcome is one no doubt the Aboriginal community in Grafton welcome, and one which the community expects.

"This outcome sends a strong message that anyone found harming Aboriginal cultural heritage will be prosecuted and should expect stiff penalties," said Rutherford. 
"Individuals and corporations must be aware of their legal responsibilities before undertaking works that can impact culturally significant sites and places", he added.

Following a hearing and restorative justice conference between the Council and the local Aboriginal community, on 24th December 2018, the Land and Environment Court convicted Clarence Valley Council of harming an object that it knew was an Aboriginal object pursuant to s 86(1) of the National Parks of Wildlife Act.

The Court also ordered a payment of $300,000 to the Local Aboriginal Land Council for programs for promoting and protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage in Grafton and the Clarence Valley, costs of the prosecutor, publication orders, and Local Council cultural skills development workshops.

"Clarence Valley Council lopped the crown of the tree in 2013, without authorisation or consultation with the local Aboriginal community. The Office of Environment and Heritage investigated the incident at the time and a $1500 fine was issued to Council in 2014," Rutherford said.

"In 2016, Council removed the remainder of the tree, also without authorisation or consultation with the Aboriginal community", Rutherford continued.

Since the tree was removed, Council has acknowledged its error and has publicly apologised to the Aboriginal community. Council is now conducting a study of Aboriginal cultural heritage across the Shire to help avoid future harm to significant sites. OEH is working with Council on the study.

Image of the stump of the scar tree on the corner of Breimba and Dovedale Street in Grafton that remained after Clarence Valley Council's initial 2013 lopping. 

Related Articles

31st December 2018 - World Forum on Urban Forests launches a global call to action

21st March 2011 - Clarence Valley Council tenders the Management and Operation of its Swimming Pool Facilities

26th December 2018 - More than 50 Australian plant species face extinction within 10 years

17th October 2016 - Rising temperatures set to devastate plant life

19th October 2009 - Urban trees deliver green benefits

7th September 2018 - Victorian first as traditional landowners take on park management

8th October 2016 - Queensland Indigenous history museum vandalised

11th April 2018 - NSW Government to plant five million new trees across Sydney by 2030

3rd March 2016 - New research project to address critical wildlife nesting shortage on World Wildlife Day

17th September 2018 - Redfern Park and Oval recognised as a heritage site

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Aflex Technology

Aflex Technology are the experts in all things inflatable. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach inflatables on the market. All products…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


The Retention People Australia

TRP help health clubs, leisure centres and gyms across the globe create happy, loyal members through our user-friendly software which enables effective engagement and the delivery exceptional customer…

read more

Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology / Wellness



Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues



Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology



SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues


SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp)

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp) is an expert retail and marketing services team specialising in sports, leisure, aquatics, fitness, health, wellness & recreation industry. Using proven…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Marketing / Retail


SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



Mattioli provides award winning painting, flooring and waterproofing services to the aquatics and recreation sector. We’re recognised as the leading contractor in the industry with award-winning…

read more

Aquatics / Recreation / Safety


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business