In June 2018, the City of Fremantle invited feedback from the community on whether to retain or remove and replace two Kings Square fig trees. The engagement included:
- an online questionnaire, which provided 101 responses.
- a community information session on 21 June at Fremantle Town Hall, attended by eight community members.
- Nearly three quarters (73%) of the participants support the ‘Christmas fig’ being removed and replaced with another mature tree.
- People who support replacing the Christmas fig expressed varying views on a preferred replacement species. 20% said they would like to see the tree replaced with another mature Moreton Bay fig tree, 22% said they would not like to see the tree replaced with another Moreton Bay fig and suggested a different tree species would be more suitable for the location, and 31% did not express a view or suggest a replacement species.
- Approximately one quarter (26%) of contributors said they would prefer the Christmas fig be retained.
- Around two-thirds (69%) of participants support replacing the Moreton Bay fig tree on the southern side of St John’s church (No 5).
- The proposal that No 5 Moreton Bay fig be replaced with a mature London Plane tree to align with other London Plane trees transplanted in May 2018 received varied response. 50% of participants were supportive of the Moreton Bay fig being replaced with a London Plane tree as proposed or did not comment on their preferred replacement species, implying no preference. A fair number (13%) of participants opposed the idea of replacing the fig tree with a London Plane tree, claiming they cause allergic reactions in some people or a personal dislike for the species. A small number (3%) of people said they would prefer the tree to be replaced with another Moreton Bay fig and a further 3% said they would prefer a West Australian native species.
- Nearly one third (30%) of contributors said retaining the (No 5) Moreton Bay fig tree was the best option.
Consultation has concluded