In order to obtain a measure of the public's level of awareness of Camphor laurel issues, survey polls were conducted in November 2003 at market days in Byron Bay, Bangalow and The Channon. Respondents were asked to declare whether they were local residents or visitors to the area, and the responses processed accordingly. Seven questions were put in the survey, one to establish the respondent's general attitude to camphor laurels, and six relating to specific factual points related to recent Camphor laurel research, intended to measure public interest and concern with the issue.

The general question asked in the poll was "Do you think that Camphor laurel trees are: (a)Beautiful and harmless? (b)A tolerable weed species? (c)Exotic invaders of increasing concern? (d)Toxic to certain species of native fauna? (e)A dangerous and deadly poisonous plant?". The responses of 135 local residents are tabulated below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The six specific questions and the results were as follows:

Are you aware yourself, or from Byron Shire Council's currently-displayed biodiversity map that Byron Shire is more than 15% covered by Camphor laurel tree canopy? Yes %yes (1K)
No %no (1K)

 

Are you aware that when the 'affected root area' of land in Byron Shire invaded by invading Camphor laurel roots is computed, that more than 30% of Byron Shire is severely impacted by Camphor laurel? Yes %yes (1K)
No %no (1K)

 

Do you know that Camphor laurel eating by birds, possums, koalas, bandicoots is slowly killing or sterilising a wide range of native fauna in this once-biodiverse region? Yes %yes (1K)
No %no (1K)

 

Are you aware that there are 20 toxins in Camphor laurels - including 4 narcotic compounds, and that almost half (9) poisonous compounds are NOT in Northern Hemisphere Camphor laurels? Yes %yes (1K)
No %no (1K)

 

Whereas 10 years ago or more some bird fauna, including Rainforest Pigeons were part dependent on older, less hybridised and less toxic Camphor laurels, it is the timber cutting industry which has led to the increased % frequency of new generation 'bird killer' and bird- sterilising 'Camphors growing up. Yes %yes (1K)
No %no (1K)

 

Do you agree that Byron Council should adopt a Camphor Eradication and Replacement Plan, in conjunction with its new LEP being prepared? Yes %yes (1K)
No %no (1K)