JRPP ver­dict to de­ter­mine fate of new fire sta­tion

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ali­son Bald­ing

A DE­CI­SION will be made to­day on whether a 150-yearold gum tree will stop the pro­posed $3.8 mil­lion Ropes Cross­ing fire sta­tion.

The Syd­ney West Joint Re­gional Plan­ning Panel will visit the Tregear site be­fore meet­ing to make a de­ci­sion.

The Stan­dard re­vealed last week that work on the new sta­tion on Ellsworth Drive was to start in Fe­bru­ary but stalled when con­cerns were raised over the need for trees to be re­moved.

Plans were re­con­fig­ured to re­quire only one for­est red gum tree and a small group of ca­sua­r­ina trees to be re­moved at the site.

A re­port re­jected by Black­town Coun­cil in April said while the tree had hol­lows with “out­stand­ing habi­tat value”, it “has struc­tural is­sues which could pose a sig­nif­i­cant risk to per­sons and prop­erty” and the hol­lows could be re­lo­cated.

The pro­posal has now been re­ferred to the JRPP for de­ter­mi­na­tion.

FRNSW as­sis­tant di­rec­tor prop­er­ties An­drew Peters es­ti­mates fur­ther de­lays could cost up to $800,000.

“While the area’s needs are catered for now, FRNSW is seek­ing to build a fire sta­tion at Tregear to ad­dress the grow­ing fire and emer­gency re­sponse needs of the area, and im­prove re­sponse times,” Mr Peters said.

“De­lays in con­struc­tion could im­pede re­sponse times in the fu­ture, po­ten­tially en­dan­ger­ing life and prop­erty.”

One ob­jec­tor, Dr Adrian Davis, wrote to Black­town Coun­cil ar­gu­ing the tree was part of the crit­i­cally en­dan­gered Cum­ber­land Plain Wood­land-Shale Plain Wood­land Com­mu­nity and should be pro­tected.

Other ob­jec­tors, Wayne Olling and Daniel Tay­lor, wrote of the need to have a min­i­mal im­pact on trees and main­tain the hol­low for na­tive fauna.

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