I RETURNED this week from Beijing with renewed respect for the way China cares for its heritage. The Forbidden City is a world heritage site surrounded by gardens and a forest of trees. Many of the trees are 800 years old. Sagging branches and bent trunks are supported with props and slings, so the trees survive and continue to provide shade and enhance the environment for visitors who throng the site.
The comparison is clear: China cherishes trees of significant value. We in Newcastle chop them. We have the opportunity now for a considered approach to development in King Edward Park and the headland reserve. They are nominated for inclusion in the commonwealth heritage list. They are significant places in Aboriginal and European culture. Let’s learn from China and value sites important to our comparatively new cultural history.
Rosemary Bunker, Newcastle