Trees taken away

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

QUES­TIONS have been raised af­ter dy­ing trees were re­moved from a sec­tion of a me­dian strip in South Perth.

QUES­TIONS have been raised af­ter dy­ing trees were re­moved from a sec­tion of a me­dian strip from Labouchere Road in South Perth.

The removal of the eight trees on March 25 comes af­ter the City of South Perth con­firmed they are look­ing at re­cent changes to ground­wa­ter lev­els af­ter base­ments were flooded next to Fin­bar’s Aure­lia de­vel­op­ment.

South Perth res­i­dent Harry An­stey asked the City of South Perth a num­ber of ques­tions dur­ing a coun­cil meet­ing on March 28 about the “death” of trees around the penin­sula.

Mr An­stey noted the removal of trees on Labouchere Road and other trees around the area that looked sick.

Speak­ing to the South­ern Gazette, he said the signs of stress in the trees, which were be­tween 15 and 20 years old, oc­curred af­ter Fin­bar’s Aure­lia de­vel­op­ment be­gan.

“There have been sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems around the area with flood­ing in neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties,” he said.

“The char­ac­ter of South Perth is de­fined by its trees; it’s a beau­ti­ful sub­urb and the trees are recog­nised as an as­set.

“I think the de­vel­op­ers have a moral and le­gal obli­ga­tion to rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion.”

City of South Perth Deputy Mayor Glenn Crid­land said the coun­cil had en­gaged an in­de­pen­dent ar­borist to pro­vide a re­port.

“In sum­mary, the trees were in a very poor grow­ing en­vi­ron­ment and had been stressed for many years,” he said.

“Anec­do­tal ev­i­dence high­lighted that the trees had dropped their leaves pre­ma­turely on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions.”

Cr Crid­land said the City had been li­ais­ing with a num­ber of State agen­cies over re­cent changes in ground­wa­ter lev­els in the Mill Point Road and Labouchere Road area.

Fin­bar Group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Dar­ren Pate­man said there was no ev­i­dence to sug­gest that any change to wa­ter ta­ble lev­els in the South Perth area had been caused by construction works at Aure­lia.

“Ground wa­ter lev­els are be­ing mon­i­tored by ex­ter­nal con­sul­tants at mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions sur­round­ing our construction site in ac­cor­dance with the man­age­ment plan ap­proved by rel­e­vant authorities.

“These lev­els are re­ported to be con­sis­tent with his­tor­i­cal ground wa­ter lev- els.”

Main pic­ture: The trees on Labouchere Road just be­fore they were re­moved.

The same trees in Novem­ber 2015 on Google maps.

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