Coun­cil stumps up for tree plan

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Aaron Cor­lett

THE Town of Vic­to­ria Park will de­velop an Ur­ban For­est Strat­egy af­ter crit­i­cism from some res­i­dents about the im­pact of the Lathlain Park re­de­vel­op­ment.

Lo­cals have raised con­cerns about the re­moval of 98 ma­ture trees at the park where the West Coast Ea­gles want to build two ovals – one the size of the MCG – for the Ea­gles, Perth Foot­ball Club and com­mu­nity to use.

Nearly 20 mo­tions call­ing for the project to be de­layed and more com­mu­nity in­put were passed at an Elec­tors’ Spe­cial Meet­ing on July 13 and then pre­sented to the coun­cil on Au­gust 9.

Of the 19 mo­tions, the coun­cil will take ac­tion on only one – a pro­posal to in­crease tree canopy cov­er­age in the Town of Vic­to­ria Park to 20 per cent by 2020.

Town of Vic­to­ria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said the coun­cil recog­nised the im­por­tance trees played in the Town and the en­vi­ron­men­tal, eco­nomic and com­mu­nity ben­e­fits they pro­vided.

“Town of­fi­cers have been in reg­u­lar con­tact with the Vic­to­ria Park Ur­ban Tree Net­work and iden­ti­fied them as be­ing an ideal stake­holder in this project,” he said.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, in­put from ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions will be sought along with the com­mu­nity and ar­bori­cul­ture in­dus­try.”

Mr Vaughan said the Town had re­cently awarded a con­tract to Paper­bark Tech­nolo­gies to au­dit all of the Town’s trees in parks and streetscapes.

“Once we know ex­actly our cur­rent per­cent­age of canopy cover and plant­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, then we will be able to be­gin to strate­gise on known ‘hot spots’ to tar­get with plant­ings,” Mr Vaughan said.

Vic­to­ria Park Ur­ban Tree Net­work founder Peter Mel­rosa said he was pleased with the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to de­velop the strat­egy but felt the coun­cil should do more to sur­vey trees at Lathlain Park.

“I wanted clar­i­fi­ca­tion about the sig­nif­i­cance of the trees at the oval; I un­der­stand the coun­cil has al­ready done an as­sess­ment but I think other ar­eas could have been looked at,” he said.

“The com­mu­nity has reser­va­tions about the plan but the Town of Vic­to­ria Park has made up its mind.”

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