Gum trees face axe

CITY FAILS TO FIND SO­LU­TION TO SAVE THEM

Kalamunda Reporter - - News - Sarah Brookes

THE City of Kala­munda has been un­suc­cess­ful in find­ing a way to save an av­enue of ma­ture lemon-scented gum trees that face the axe.

The 13 trees on Welsh­pool Road East are sched­uled to be cut down to cre­ate a slip road to ac­cess the St Pe­ters Ja­co­bite Syr­ian Church de­vel­op­ment, ap­proved by the City of Kala­munda last year.

Mayor An­drew Wad­dell said the City had been in dis­cus­sions with the de­vel­oper, com­mu­nity mem­bers and Main Roads WA about the trees.

Cr Wad­dell said af­ter meet­ings, Main Roads and the City agreed a slip lane was nec­es­sary in the in­ter­ests of road safety if ac­cess was to come off Welsh­pool Road East.

“Main Roads statis­tics in­di­cate 127 crashes on Welsh­pool Road East be­tween Boundary Road and Crys­tal Brook Road in the last 10 years, which re­sulted in five fa­tal­i­ties,” he said.

“City staff have also spo­ken with the de­vel­oper, who ad­vised they were open to con­sid­er­ing al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tions.

“At this stage the only so­lu­tion would be for the de­vel­oper to seek ac­cess from an­other landowner.”

How­ever, Cr Wad­dell said the de­vel­oper ad­vised it was cost pro­hib­i­tive.

“It is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing that they seem to be put­ting costs over com­mu­nity safety and the trees,” he said.

“If the de­vel­oper wished to re­tain the trees they must con­sider ac­cess other than from Welsh­pool Road East. This is about sav­ing lives. We can­not al­low an­other en­try point from Welsh­pool Road East with­out con­trols as it is not safe.”

Save the Gum Trees of Wattle Grove co-or­di­na­tor Vanessa Mazza held an emer­gency com­mu­nity meet­ing last month and called for the trees to be given state pro­tec­tion.

“These trees pro­vide a sense of place, a land­mark, a slither of beauty, a vi­tal green link, a refuge for birds and other wildlife, a cor­ri­dor of cool­ing canopy to re­main as a con­tin­u­ous av­enue that forms a gate­way to the Hills,” she said.

“We need to put aside our egos, pol­i­tics and blame shift­ing to find a so­lu­tion for the sake of the trees. “Safety is be­ing used as a blunt and im­pre­cise in­stru­ment to smash all other in­ter­ests, all other con­cerns and all other pri­or­i­ties. The com­mu­nity un­der­stands safety is para­mount but the com­mu­nity also un­der­stands that the trees are para­mount.”

Save the Gum Trees of Wattle Grove is call­ing for the gum trees to be given state pro­tec­tion.

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