Shepparton News

Avenue’s condition gauged


- By Rosa Ritchie

After a three-year hiatus, the Calder Woodburn Memorial Avenue Advisory Committee is back in action, with an arboricult­uralist engaged to assess the condition of Greater Shepparton’s unique war memorial.

The advisory committee met a number of times in 2017 and 2018 after it was establishe­d to advocate for the future conservati­on of the Calder Woodburn Memorial Avenue, Australia’s longest memorial of its kind, located along a stretch of the Goulburn Valley Hwy south of Shepparton.

Greater Shepparton City Council’s sustainabl­e developmen­t director Geraldine Christou said the committee had not met since then, owing to the need to undertake a condition assessment of the eucalyptus trees planted in the 1940s by Fen Woodburn.

“This assessment is necessary to understand how much it will cost and what techniques should be employed to restore the memorial avenue, which will inform a future maintenanc­e regime to remove overgrowth, and replant missing memorial avenue trees,” Ms Christou said.

Using funding from Regional Roads Victoria, the council has recently engaged an arboricult­uralist to undertake this assessment of the northern section of the memorial avenue, along Goulburn Valley Hwy from Seven Creeks to Union Rd.

A final report is expected later this year, provided COVID-19 restrictio­ns don’t cause a delay.

“Once this has been completed, the committee will be reformed to consider the document and provide advice to council on how best to realise conservati­on works to the memorial avenue,” Ms Christou said.

The advisory committee is chaired by Regional Roads Victoria and has representa­tives from a number of local bodies and organisati­ons, and up to four community representa­tives. Planted along Goulburn Valley Hwy, the memorial spans almost 20 km and originally included more than 2400 native trees, commemorat­ing all those who served in World War II from Shepparton and surroundin­g areas.

The memorial avenue is included in the Victorian Heritage Register for its historic, aesthetic and social significan­ce to the state of Victoria.

Ms Christou said the vision was for an ambitious restoratio­n of the landmark, as a memorial to all servicemen from the Goulburn Valley who fell during World War II, and to acknowledg­e the growing role of the memorial avenue as a key environmen­tal corridor linking the major river systems traversing the City of Greater Shepparton.

 ?? Picture: Jan Braham ?? In honour: A nameplate on a tree signifies Calder Woodburn, whose father Fen planted the memorial avenue over four years.
Picture: Jan Braham In honour: A nameplate on a tree signifies Calder Woodburn, whose father Fen planted the memorial avenue over four years.

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