Campaspe Shire Council has confirmed one of Echuca's thong trees has been removed - but the original is still standing.
Economic and community development general manager Keith Oberin said a secondary leaning thong tree had been removed to allow for construction of a walkway.
He said the original thong tree, to its left, remained.
"Extensive community consultation took place as part of the development plan for the site over the past few years," he said.
"Further consultation took place as part of the planning approval process."
A famous 'thong tree' on the banks of the Murray at Echuca has been pulled down to make way for the next stage of a riverfront development project.
The tree was a dead stump to which scores of mismatched thongs had been nailed and it had become an attraction in its own right.
It was recently removed for the riverfront development project, the second stage of which will include the construction of footpaths, landscaping, sealed roadways to the riverfront from Watson Street and the rearrangement of car and bus parking.
It is expected the $4.9 million project will be completed early next year.
The original thong tree came into being more than a decade ago.
Murray River Houseboats owner Ken Montgomery said there were always thongs left along the riverfront or in the water, so his then-employee Danny Simpson, a signwriter, decided to create a little sign and nail a couple of thongs to the stump.
It then grew a life of its own, with tourists writing their own messages on thongs and adding them to the tree.
Mr Montgomery said no one thought it would become an attraction and it was "quite extraordinary", with people taking as many photos of the tree as they did of paddle steamers on the river.
Despite its popularity over the years, Mr Montgomery said he was not too concerned it was gone, describing it as a novelty rather than an historic tourist attraction.
"I think the new development's a most important thing," he said.
But the news of the thong tree's removal was met with disappointment and outrage on social media, with people sharing their memories of seeing the tree and adding their own footwear to its collection.
Campaspe Shire has confirmed the removal of the tree. The Bendigo Advertiser is awaiting further comment.
More to come
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