Gum trees face axe
CITY FAILS TO FIND SOLUTION TO SAVE THEM
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.