Carob tree next to Tailem Bend toilet will stay, despite rumours

A carob tree at Tailem Bend will not be cut down to make way for the town's new toilet block, despite rumours to the contrary.

Residents including Shirley Gunson had lamented the coming loss of the old tree that stands near the existing public toilets on Railway Terrace, next to the visitor information centre and rail museum.

"It's beautiful," she said of the tree as she stood beneath it.

"It's an umbrella, it's stately the way it just stands there, it's got a double trunk.

"People pick all these (seed pods) up – I saw a lady the other day picking up a big bag of them."

After all, carob seeds could be used to make a chocolate substitute which was available at health food stores.

"Maybe people don't think it's beautiful," she conceded.

"I do."

She contrasted it with the gum trees and other natives along Railway Terrace, which she argued did not provide much shade and were ravaged by cockatoos and corellas.

The carob, introduced from Mediterranean climes, had no such shortcomings.

"Why do you want to cut it down?" she asked.

"I don't understand."

Yet her fears, and a suggestion in the August edition of the Tailem Topics that tree "must be saved", may have been ill-founded.

Concept designs for the new toilet building label the carob "existing tree to remain".

Coorong council infrastructure and assets director David Mosel suspected the confusion might have been caused by one of the concept images, which did not appear to show the tree.

“It’s not anticipated the tree will be removed,” he said.

“There’s no way.

“It would be considered an icon.”

The tender for the construction of the toilet block will close at 4pm on Monday.

The old toilet block is due to be demolished in September, and construction of the new building will begin on October 2.

The new building will feature seven female and five male cubicles and a separate disabled toilet with a baby change table.

A proposed second stage of works calls for a "railway memory garden", with three steel arbours echoing the three pitches in the roof of the toilet block.