HE tried his best, but there was nothing more councillor John Fry could do to save poplar trees slated for removal in Jacques Park.
A report on the trees was presented to Bathurst Regional Council's meeting on Wednesday, with a recommendation from the director of Engineering Services to remove the trees from the Hawthornden Creek riparian zone in Jacques Park.
Cr Fry immediately put forward an alternate motion, which was for the poplar trees to remain in place within the park until they become a public safety risk.
He said that, based on his own observations and discussions with other environmental groups, the majority of the poplars weren't a biosecurity risk and presented only minimal risk to stream health.
A second part to his motion was that any future removal is done in consultation with the community.
Cr Fry said that rehabilitation of Jacques Park has been occurring for more than two decades with the help of community members, who have been planting trees and driving works in the park.
"I think the community needs to be recognised as having a significant stake in this and doing an incredible amount of work, and a lot of non-government groups ... they've been driving this and I think they should be considered when we make big management decisions on this park," he said.
When Cr Fry's motion was voted on, he was the only councillor to raise his hand in favour of it.
Instead, councillors adopted a motion more inline with the original recommendation.
This will mean that the poplar trees in the riparian zone will be felled and poisoned, and at a later date council will proceed with new plantings of native species.
During discussion of Cr Fry's motion, several councillors made it clear they were going to stick to the advice provided by council's staff in the detailed report.
Cr Warren Aubin indicated that if councillors were to vote against the advice of council staff, then there would be no point in Bathurst council having documents like its waterways management and vegetation management plans.
"I think we've got enough experts in our environmental department to actually put these things in process and one line in the report [says] the reason for the removal was the 'ongoing protection and environmental enhancement of the Hawthornden Creek waterway'. Full stop, nothing else to say," he said.
Cr Jess Jennings added that there was a "good news" element to the recommendation from council's staff, which was that new trees would be planted and the community would be involved in this.