Gelorup group raises jar­rah fate

South Western Times - - News - Michael Philipps

Friends of Gelorup spokes­woman Rosina Mogg has raised con­cerns over the fu­ture of jar­rah trees in the area where the Bun­bury Outer Ring Road is planned.

The com­ments come after a jar­rah tree, be­lieved to be more than 400 years old, was il­le­gally felled on the pro­posed route of the road last week.

Mrs Mogg said 400-year-old trees were not re­place­able in our life­time.

“Our com­mu­nity is dev­as­tated to have lost one 400-yearold jar­rah,” she said.

“Fac­ing the loss of so many more an­cient giants for a tem­po­rary by­pass is in­com­pre­hen­si­ble to us.

“Our crit­i­cally en­dan­gered ring­tail pos­sums and en­dan­gered black cock­a­toos can­not wait 400 years for habi­tat trees of this size to re­grow.”

Mrs Mogg said the ages of trees var­ied from 200 years up to 500.

“Gelorup’s trees are cen­turies older than her­itage listed build­ings any­where in the coun­try,” she said.

“They should be af­forded pro­tec­tion.

“We are priv­i­leged to live next to this ex­tremely im­por­tant eco­log­i­cal cor­ri­dor and will cam­paign vig­or­ously to pro­tect it.”

A Main Roads spokesman said en­vi­ron­men­tal sur­veys were in place to look into the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the road’s route.

“Ear­lier this year, the Com­mon­wealth Gov­ern­ment el­e­vated the con­ser­va­tion sta­tus of the west­ern ring­tail pos­sum to ‘crit­i­cally en­dan­gered’,” he said.

“As a re­sult of this re­clas­si­fi­cae­nough tion and the other Mat­ters of Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Sig­nif­i­cance, Main Roads is un­der­tak­ing ad­di­tional in­ves­ti­ga­tions to sup­port the en­vi­ron­men­tal re­fer­ral process.

“An al­ter­na­tive cor­ri­dor has been iden­ti­fied for in­ves­ti­ga­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal sur­veys are now un­der way in ad­di­tion to sur­veys for the ex­ist­ing cor­ri­dor.”

The Main Roads spokesman said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was look­ing at a range of en­vi­ron­men­tal and com­mu­nity is­sues.

“Main Roads has in­stalled ground­wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing wells, is un­der­tak­ing wet­lands sur­veys, fauna sur­veys, in­clud­ing reg­u­lar on­go­ing sur­veys for west­ern ring­tail pos­sums, dieback sur­veys and is about to com­mence spring flora sur­veys,” he said.

“These sur­veys are be­ing con­ducted across the en­tire pro­posed align­ment and also the south­ern in­ves­ti­ga­tion cor­ri­dor.

“With re­gard to the BORR, the fi­nal out­come and se­lected align­ment will be de­signed to bal­ance the needs for com­mu­nity amenity, freight ef­fi­ciency and road safety.”

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