Game over for trees

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Aaron Cor­lett

THE fight to save trees at Lath­lain Park ap­pears to be over af­ter some of them were cut down to make way for the West Coast Ea­gles’ rede­vel­op­ment of the oval.

THE fight to save trees at Lath­lain Park ap­pears to be over af­ter some were re­moved to make way for the West Coast Ea­gles, which will make the oval its home.

There were emo­tional scenes as the some of the trees were cut down on Wed­nes­day, two days af­ter the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion granted ap­proval to the club for its de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion to cre­ate two ovals.

A West Coast Ea­gles spokesman said the club was ready to pro­ceed as soon as the de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion was ap­proved.

“As we have been de­layed through the process, it is im­por­tant to com­mence in­stal­la­tion of the ovals to en­able the turf to grow over sum­mer in prepa­ra­tion of Perth Foot­ball Club’s 2017 sea­son,” he said.

Lath­lain res­i­dent Sue Coltrona said Lath­lain Park was the scene of “ut­ter dev­as­ta­tion” and there had been an out­pour­ing of sad­ness on­line.

“All the trees are ly­ing in a heap, the coun­cil have said the West Coast Ea­gles will sal­vage and put back into the com­mu­nity through land­scap­ing and ur­ban de­sign, but I want to know they will pre­serve and main­tain them,” she said.

“For the ap­pli­ca­tion to be ap­proved on Mon­day and then for the trees to be cut down on Wed­nes­day, it just feels cal­cu­lated.

“A lot of the res­i­dents are very sad, we are look­ing for le­gal ad­vice and that’s where things sit.”

Ms Coltrona said res­i­dents who saw the trees come down were very emo­tional.

“Kids were cry­ing, and even adults and se­niors were too,” she said.

“Th­ese are not just trees, it’s high­lighted how dis­re­garded and dis­em­pow­ered the com­mu­nity has be­come through this process, and how our new neigh­bour, the Ea­gles, are be­ing so dis­mis­sive.”

Town of Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said he was aware of a “small group” of com­mu­nity mem­bers who were un­happy about the trees be­ing taken down and the coun­cil ac­knowl­edged their views.

“The Town has also re­ceived a large amount of feed­back from com­mu­nity mem­bers stat­ing they are very happy to see the ma­jor com­po­nent of the $70 mil­lion project com­menced,” he said.

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek

A pile of trees cut down at Lath­lain Park. d458365

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