Public perception of Camphor laurel

So much so that by the 1970s in parts of Sydney's northside, entire gullies had been invaded, and public concern mounted. Bushwalkers and newly-elected environmentalists were the first to take the issue of camphor invasion to local councils.

Kuringai Council (1978) was the first NSW local government agency to have voted to list camphor laurel as a noxious species, and hence, the first urban council to have it declared noxious, on the basis of its invasiveness.

The species' propensity to invade was first known to have been reported in the Northern Star (Lismore, Northern Rivers Region) in early 1900.

Interviews with Sydney people in the streets of the inner western suburbs (December 2000) revealed that a majority of urban land or house owners know that camphor laurels are both disruptive to buildings, walls and footpaths, as well as being 'somewhat toxic' to humans.

Knowledge in the public domain about camphor tree and product toxicity is reflected by the fact that when a series of natural oils and herbal-medicinal retain outlet proprietors were interviewed, all stated that there is no expressed demand for camphor oil or extracts.

Camphor Workshops held by the Northern Rivers Weeds Council between 1995 and 1997 proved that public opinion amongst landowners and concerned urban environmentalists was fairly divided at that time (Scott, personal communication, 1998). However, crucial toxicity data and the species propensity to kill native freshwater fish was not mentioned by the Convenor of these Workshops.