Press release and some thoughts from Alan Goldstein, Goonengerry Landcare.

Hi all, from Goonengerry Landcare Group,

Please see the press release below. Goonengerry Landcare would like to hear back from any locals who have the opportunity to attend the Camphor Laurel Symposium mentioned. We will meet after this discussion to discuss whether Goonengerry Landcare and/or residents desire to have a group position on this subject.

cheers, alan g

Media Release

4 November 2009

Camphor Laurel Symposium to be held in Byron Bay

Byron Shire Council is holding a Camphor Laurel Symposium in ByronBay on Friday 27 November 2009 from 9am to 1pm.

Councilor Patrick Morrisey said the symposium is being held to consult with residents and key stakeholders on the development of a policy and strategy to manage Camphor Laurel in Byron Shire.

“We are hoping to attract about 50 attendees in order to gain a whole of community perspective in relation to Camphor Laurel and its impacts on the Shire.

Cr Morrisey said Camphor Laurel means different things to different people.

“To some, it’s a classified (W4) noxious weed rapidly spreading across cleared former rainforest and farming land that needs to be controlled.  To others, through strategic intervention, it can help return cleared landscapes to rainforest.

“Some see it as highly toxic whilst for others it’s just another tree.

“Many harvest it for cabinet making, art and sculptural purposes and jobs creator or a source of fire wood or fuel for electricity generation. It provides both opportunities and threats to ecosystem functions.

“This symposium is an excellent opportunity for people with a considered view on camphor laurel to participate in an informed dialogue on how best to manage this Asian tree for a variety of purposes. Council is developing a holistic strategy for managing camphor and this symposium aims to inform that process”.   

Cr Morrisey said the Camphor Laurel is a significant problem for Byron Shire with more than one quarter of the vegetated areas of the Shire comprised of the tree.

“The morning will provide an opportunity to gather stakeholders’ views from electricity generation contractors, farmers, Landcare Groups, Country Energy, tree felling contractors, woodworkers and sculptors on the way forward in managing the issue.”

According to Cr Morrisey, Camphor Laurel is a serious environmental weed but one that also contains positive values.

He said in Byron Shire, Camphor Laurel provides important habitats for a wide range of threatened and common plant and animal species, and is an important seasonal food source for fruit eating fauna.

“The broad scale unplanned clearing of Camphor Laurel sites could also disrupt wildlife corridors and threaten the biodiversity of the region.

“As a community we need to manage the issue of clearing Camphors, maintain biodiversity and look for potential value adding solutions to the problem.

There is no cost to attend the Camphor Lauren Symposium which will be held at the Lord Byron Resort in ByronBay.

Anyone interested in attending the event, please contact Byron Shire Council’s economic development officer Jos Mitchell on 02 6626 7222 or [email protected]


Media Contact:                               Donna Johnston

                                                         Media Communications Officer

                                                         Byron Shire Council

                                                         Ph: 02 6626 7320

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