Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

THE res­i­dents of Lath­lain have ev­ery rea­son to protest the tree re­movals from the new West Coast foot­ball team’s de­vel­op­ment project at Lath­lain Park.

Those pro­mot­ing the project claim they have ad­e­quately “con­sulted” with the lo­cal com­mu­nity. The con­sult­ing ac­tu­ally con­sisted of pro­mo­tion of the event through mail-outs and a num­ber of “com­mu­nity events” that out­lined the per­ceived ben­e­fits of the project.

The de­tail not pro­moted was the fact that the in­clu­sion of a sec­ond oval would ne­ces­si­tate the re­moval of a large num­ber of ma­ture trees, many of which are es­sen­tial roost­ing trees for black cock­a­toos, along with a range of other na­tive species.

This de­tail has only re­cently come to light.

Ev­ery­one knows that the largescale re­moval of ma­ture trees is go­ing to be con­tro­ver­sial.

It seems to me that the pro­mot­ers of the project as­sumed the best way to avoid con­tro­versy was to hide the un­pleas­ant as­pects un­til it was too late.

They may well suc­ceed in achiev­ing their ob­jec­tive of gain­ing plan­ning ap­proval, but I doubt whether it will leave lo­cal res­i­dents feel­ing that the project has been de­vel­oped with the best in­ter­ests of the com­mu­nity in mind.

A sin­gle oval with the sur­round- ing ar­eas de­vel­oped into park­land would have drawn a much higher level of com­mu­nity sup­port, and could po­ten­tially have drawn the same amount of gov­ern­ment sup­port and fund­ing.

How many ovals does the AFL need near the city? JOHN EA­TON, Lath­lain.

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