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Rainbow flag in Taylor Square. Image: City of Sydney

By Chris Sutton

Rally against the chainsaws

A rally was held on Tuesday October 14 to put pressure on the Baird Government to reform urban land clearing laws.

Sydney’s local residents marched outside Parliament House to stop landmark trees being cut down under current legislation.

“There had been many reports of people using the new rules to remove trees to improve their views or facilitate development, not for genuine bushfire risk management,” said Nature Conservation Council’s CEO Kate Smolski.

Despite previous concessions made by the government, little had been done to stop the destruction.

Bushfire prone land was cited as the main reason for removal, but Ms Smolski said that less than 5 percent of trees taken down were for bushfire risk management.

“The government’s changes have not removed the risks to trees in most urban bushland areas.”

Ms Smolski said it was necessary that the Government see how important the trees are to the people of Sydney, who haven’t had concerns addressed.

“The chainsaws will not stop until the government suspends this law and consults genuinely with the community.”

Sydney raises rainbow flag

A rainbow flag has been unveiled in Taylor Square to support Sydney’s gay and lesbian community.

Labor Councillor Linda Scott said she was glad to see it happen following the events of last year, where hundreds of activists chalked a rainbow flag outside town hall.

“I am pleased that we have permanently enshrined this symbol of equality in our City’s landscape.”

The Lord Mayor had twice postponed the proposals despite agreeing that the suggestion was worth investigating, initially in 2005 and again in May 2013.

Cr Scott, who first raised the idea of a giant rainbow flag for a demonstration of support, was proud of the result.

“The campaign to the see the rainbow flag in Taylor Square has ultimately been successful,” Cr Scott said.

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