The scar tree before it was first damaged in 2013.
The scar tree before it was first damaged in 2013. Lesley Apps

OUR SAY: Sorry is a good start after scar tree debacle

THE FULL page public apology to the Clarence Valley's indigenous people is the least the council can do to recover credibility with those people.

The apology, published on page 9 in yesterday's Daily Examiner, acknowledges it has let down the people it represents.

When you look at the sequence of events between 2013 and 216 which resulted in the total removal of this valuable living cultural artefact, it is hard to believe.

In 2013, council workers lopped the tree resulting in the council's trip to the Land and Environment Court and a $1500 fine.

As well the council introduced a raft of measures training staff in how to deal with items of cultural significance.

Yet three years later council staff intervened, this time removing the tree completely.

Another trip to the Land and Environment Court has followed and yet another fine.

The rap on the knuckles for the council is actually the least of the worries arising from this matter.

We hope all the fine words in the apology are backed by meaningful actions this time.

Too many times organisations let down vulnerable people, whether it's Aboriginal people, the elderly, children, youth, the disabled or any other.

Saying sorry is not the end when it comes to repairing the damage, it's the beginning of the job.



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