Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will complete unfinished business in Faulconbridge next Monday, October 8 when he continues the tradition of planting a tree in the Prime Ministers' Corridor of Oaks in Jackson Park.
The Queensland MP missed the chance to plant an oak tree while he was in office before being replaced by Julia Gillard as prime minister in June 2010. He will be the first Prime Minister to continue the tradition since John Howard in 2000.
“The visit by the former Prime Minister is an exciting opportunity for the Blue Mountains community to celebrate the cultural significance of the Corridor of Oaks and its history,” said Blue Mountains Mayor Daniel Myles.
“The oak trees have been planted by each prime minister, or their closest living relative, forming a living memorial to Sir Henry Parkes, Federation of Australia and the Federal Prime Ministers."
Joseph Lyons was the first prime minister to plant an oak tree on September 12, 1934. Twenty three trees have been planted in the park since then.
“It is important to continue to have commemorative oaks planted by prime ministers to retain the cultural significance of the site,” said the mayor.
Labor candidate for Macquarie Susan Templeman said she was pleased Mr Rudd had accepted the council’s invitation to plant his oak.
“I met with Mr Rudd recently and explained that this was a real tradition for the Blue Mountains, especially for people in the Faulconbridge/Springwood area,” she said.
“I was thrilled that he was able to find a date to be here, so that we can add another prime minister to the Corridor of Oaks."
Springwood-based Labor Senator Doug Cameron — who was a prominent Rudd supporter in the recent leadership contest with Julia Gillard — also welcomed the historic visit by former prime minister.
“This is an important occasion for the Blue Mountains and it continues a long and proud tradition at the Corridor of Oaks,” Senator Cameron said.
Member of the public can attend the official tree planting which will take place at the western end of the Corridor of Oaks on Sir Henry’s Parade, Jackson Park, Faulconbridge at 10.30am.
Car parking is limited so visitors are encouraged to park on the northern side of the highway and walk across to the site.
Joseph Jackson, the Federal Member for Nepean from 1927-1957, was instrumental in establishing the Corridor of Oaks. He bought and donated the land to Blue Mountains Shire Council so it would become a national memorial opposite Sir Henry Parkes’ former residence, Faulconbridge House.