A survey of opinions on camphor laurel was conducted at a recent rural market day at The Channon. The Channon markets are noted for local garden produce; health foods and alternative products. They attract many local and overseas tourists, as well as many hobby farmers; long-term alternative life-stylers and traditional agriculturalists from the surrounding farmlands. This area has high densities of both rural dwellers and camphor laurel trees, and because these are the farmers who would be most affected by proposed new regulations on the trees, their opinions were sought in a questionaire. 105 responses were received to the questionaire, which included the following questions:
Ql. Do you think that camphor laurel trees could be 'contained' in a manageable, plantation-sized land-area in (say) Central Australia, an offshore island or the Tweed Valley/Upper Tweed Valley?
Q2. As you may know, new settlers (150-200 men) took just 25 to 35 years to cut down The Big Scrub.. do you believe that it would be feasible to replace all camphor laurels inside a: 10, 20, 30 year time frame?
Q3. If camphor laurels become proven by existing NSW Ag autopsies to be capable of killing native and domestic vertebrates — not just invertebrates - do you think that the camphor species need now be declared and treated as a 'toxic and noxious' danger?
Q4. Do you think that camphor laurels are slowly killing or sterilising certain species of native wildlife (for example koalas; possums, bandicoots) and reducing regional biodiversity?
Q5. Are you aware that the usual slow, long term (5-10 year period) poisoning of affected fauna (eg bandicoots, birds, koala and possum) is quite different to the acute poisoning that occurs in hot dry seasons?
Analysis of the results indicated that most of the respondents had a detailed knowledge of the negative effects of camphor laurels, and felt that action was warranted: