Dig Tree Burnt?

Submitted: Saturday, Dec 28, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2726 Views:3258 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Fury over burnt explorer's landmark
Date: December 24 2002

The destruction of one of Australia's most historic bush landmarks has
generated a growing fury.

Queensland Police Minister Tony McGrady reacted angrily today to the
destruction of the historic "Landsborough Tree" near Burketown, in the
state's northwest.

Vandals set alight the tree earlier this month, wiping out 140 years of

Police are investigating the razing of the eucalypt tree inscribed by
explorer William Landsborough during his unsuccessful search for Burke and Wills in 1862.

Landsborough carved the word "Dig" on the tree as a message to the lost
explorers and buried supplies near it.

The Queensland heritage-listed tree, on the edge of salt flats about 5km out of Burketown, was found vandalised by the local ranger last week.

Its trunk had been burnt, causing the tree to fall over.

"This is a despicable act of vandalism which was un-Australian," Mr McGrady said.

"This is one of the most significant historical trees in the northwest and,
indeed, in Australia.

"It's part of our history and louts, the lowest of the low, have seen fit to
destroy it, which is very disappointing for everybody.

"I hope the full extent of the law will come down upon them."

The tree is in Mr McGrady's electorate of Mt Isa.

Burketown Police Inspector Bruce Batterham said a lightning strike had been discounted as a possible explanation for the tree's destruction.

He said samples had been taken to determine the type of accelerant used to set the tree alight.

Burke Shire mayor Annie Clarke said she was "jolly angry" by the destruction of the tourist attraction.

"People felt very strongly about being able to go in the path of the
explorers and suddenly it's not there any more," she said.
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Reply By: Member - Cruiser1 - Saturday, Dec 28, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Dec 28, 2002 at 01:00
I can uderstand the anger and would condemn the wanton destruction of ANY tree but let's not confuse things.

The 'Dig Tree' is on Nappa Merrie station, on the banks of the Cooper, in the SOUTH of the state.

AnswerID: 10257

Reply By: Jack - Saturday, Dec 28, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Dec 28, 2002 at 01:00
The "Dig" tree I saw about 8 weeks ago is just out of Innaminka ... nowhere near where it is described in this article. Which now begs the question .. "what is *THIS* dig tree"?
Incidentally, on the one I saw, "DIG" is not visible, as it has grown over, but the markings indicating where to dig still remain.
One of life's stragne mysteries?
AnswerID: 10261

Reply By: Peter - Saturday, Dec 28, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Dec 28, 2002 at 01:00
The tree referred to in the article is another "dig tree". it is not the burke and wills "dig tree" near innaminka. the northern dig tree was part of one of the rescue/search parties that set out to find burke and wills when it was realised they had come to a tragic end.
like a few things in australia there is more than one of. like the many "black stumps", birthplaces of waltzing matilda, the graves of the man from snowy river.
AnswerID: 10263

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Sunday, Dec 29, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 29, 2002 at 01:00
Peter, there used to be one of Landsboroughs trees on Gregory Downs, on western side of Gregory River. As it was in a frail state, think the section bearing the markings, was relocated to Gregory Pub. A steel marker was put into the remains of the stump, to mark the position. This not one of the "dig" trees, but was probably one of his camps. Regards...
FollowupID: 5390

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