Fight to save park trees

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Kaylee Martin

RES­I­DENTS from as far as Joon­dalup and Kar­rinyup were among those fight­ing to stop a Town of Vic­to­ria Park coun­cil de­ci­sion on the Lathlain Park re­de­vel­op­ment.

At a spe­cial meet­ing on Tues­day, coun­cil unan­i­mously passed the of­fi­cer’s rec­om­men­da­tion to ad­vise the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion to ap­prove the ap­pli­ca­tion from the West Coast Ea­gles

The ap­pli­ca­tion in­volves the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Perth Foot­ball Club oval and con­struc­tion of an ad­di­tional oval for the Ea­gles’ new home ground train­ing fa­cil­ity, as well as other re­de­vel­op­ment projects.

To make way for land­scape and build­ing de­sign, the ap­pli­ca­tion iden­ti­fied about 98 trees that would need to be re­moved from Lathlain Park; the park cur­rently has about 270 trees.

The ap­pli­ca­tion said the trees needed to be re­moved be­cause some were on the site of the pro­posed se­cond oval, some were limb-drop­ping species and some would be af­fected by the change in ground lev­els.

While the ma­jor­ity at the meet­ing agreed that the Ea­gles mov­ing their home ground to Lathlain would be pos­i­tive, res­i­dents and com­mu­nity mem­bers were con­cerned about the loss of the trees. Res­i­dents said the pro­ject was be­ing rushed and the loss of so many trees would neg­a­tively im­pact the com­mu­nity for years to come.

Rainer Repke trav­elled from his home in Joon­dalup to at­tend the meet­ing and said ma­ture trees were dis­ap­pear­ing from Perth at an alarm­ing rate.

“Ev­ery­one tells us that a few trees must go, it can­not be helped and it’s all for ben­e­fit,” Mr Repke said.

“Nature al­ways has to give. What the devel­op­ment in­tends to do adds to cli­mate change in a neg­a­tive way.”

Deputy Mayor Brian Oliver said this was the big­gest pro­ject in the Town’s his­tory and the de­ci­sion would not be made lightly.

Coun­cil­lor Ju­lian Ja­cobs, a Perth Foot­ball Club player, said the re­de­vel­op­ment was an op­por­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity to make use of Lathlain Park.

“Now, we train a few days a week but then the gates are locked and the com­mu­nity can’t use it,” Cr Ja­cobs said.

Cr Claire An­der­son said she sup­ported the re­de­vel­op­ment be­cause there was cur­rently no dis­abil­ity ac­cess.

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