Ground-up tree plan lauded

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Matt Zis

IT is not of­ten a coun­cil de­ci­sion gen­er­ates si­mul­ta­ne­ous ap­plause from both elected coun­cil­lors and the ob­servers in the pub­lic gallery – but as both groups agreed on Tues­day night at Vic­to­ria Park, this was no or­di­nary coun­cil de­ci­sion.

The Town of Vic­to­ria Park’s ur­ban for­est strat­egy is be­ing cel­e­brated for its ground-up ap­proach of pol­icy cre­ation, as well as the in­tended out­come of de­liv­er­ing more trees.

What be­gan as com­mu­nity pres­sure over tree re­ten­tion at the West Coast Ea­gles head­quar­ters in Lath­lain be­came a mat­ter for a special meet­ing of elec­tors in 2016 and even­tu­ally com­mu­nity groups such as the Vic Park Trees and the Vic Park Col­lec­tive in cre­at­ing the tree for­est strat­egy, which was adopted on Tues­day night.

The strat­egy out­lines meth­ods and costs re­quired to in­crease the canopy cov­er­age within the Town of Vic­to­ria Park to 20 per cent, dou­ble what the most re­cent canopy map­ping and anal­y­sis sug­gests ex­ists.

It will be a process of pro­tect­ing and sav­ing ex­ist­ing trees, as well as a tree plant­ing pro­gram.

Cr Claire An­der­son said it was a great ex­am­ple of pol­icy di­rec­tion first com­ing from the com­mu­nity and then be­ing de­vel­oped by the com­mu­nity.

“Their love and pas­sion and ex­per­tise went above and be­yond,” she said.

Fit­tingly, the last word went to an ob­server from the pub­lic gallery.

Speak­ing dur­ing the pub­lic state­ment pe­riod af­ter the de­ci­sion, Luana Lisan­dro thanked Heather John­son for be­ing the “glue” be­hind the ur­ban for­est group.

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