Camphor laurel sculptures on display at last week’s Byron Council meeting.
Camphor laurel sculptures on display at last week’s Byron Council meeting.

From weed to works of art

Introduced into the area about 100 years ago, camphor laurel now make up about one-quarter of all trees in the Byron Shire.


For many, they are an irksome ‘weed’, almost impossible to eradicate. For others, they are a valuable resource.


Among the ‘others’ are local wood sculptors who turn them into brilliant works of art.


Some of those works were on display at last week’s Byron Council meeting at Mullumbimby to highlight a successful motion from Cr Patrick Morrisey to stage a one-day expo in the council chambers before Christmas to allow artists to display their camphor laurel creations.


Cr Morrissey also won support for a symposium in the chambers on the same day to look at creative ways of using camphor laurel.


He, along with Crs Richard Staples and Basil Cameron, will organise the event.


Cr Cameron said managing camphor laurel in the shire was a critical issue, and the expo and symposium would help develop skills in a number of areas.


He said if it led to jobs and income being created for young people, it would be a huge benefit to the shire.


Mayor Cr Jan Barham said the expo and symposium would be a ‘valuable exercise’, while Cr Diane Woods said she supported the idea in principle, but suggested the artists involved should do the organising work with the expo held away from the council chambers.


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