War has broken out in Mosman Park over plans to chop down as many as 45 old trees to re-create a historic World War II view at Buckland Hill.
Friends of Mosman Park Bushland is at loggerheads with the Royal Australian Artillery Society of WA, which runs the Leighton Battery museum, because of a proposal to clear trees and prune bushes. It's part of a plan by the Town of Mosman Park, and a stoush that will ultimately be decided by the State Government.
BUSH lovers and military history buffs are battling over a council proposal to chop down up to 45 trees in registered rare habitat at Buckland Hill Park in Mosman Park.
The Town of Mosman Park last month asked the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) for permission to prune plants down to 1m on the hill’s west slope, and then potentially fell up to 45 mature trees to re-create views serving soldiers saw from the historic gun battery when they defended Fremantle from the location during WWII.
Buckland Hill is one of the highest points in Perth and became part of Australia’s military defence points in the early 1900s when defence facilities were built at North Fremantle and on the south side of the harbour at Arthur Head.
During WWI the Battery Observation Post also served as the Port War Signal Station, a naval facility used to signal vessels leaving and entering Gage Roads.
The council wants to prune the plants and potentially remove trees as part of $4000 of work to be done over two years as part of the Buckland Hill Conservation Management Plan approved in 2019.
The 2.2ha is considered a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) housing species including the purple-backed fairy wren and western bearded dragon.
“It is utter madness in today’s world that this level of destruction would actively be considered, but the council has submitted an application for a permit to remove trees for views from a slit in the ground available for paying customers at the hill’s museum,” Friends of Mosman Park Bushland convener Sue Conlan said.
FOMPB objections to DWER’S public consultation included the removal of healthy native trees that provide shade and habitat.
During the 1980s, residents fought and won a battle with the then-state government and developers to ensure a third of Buckland Hill remained untouched by development.
Royal Australian Artillery Historical Society WA president David Carter said the shrubs and bushes to be pruned were 30 years old and hindered WWII views from being partially re-created in an 80-degree arc.
“Any mature trees to be removed would be totally up to the council, done by their contactors and in consultation with the council’s staff,” Mr Carter said.
Mosman Park Mayor Brett Pollock said only 0.11ha of the TEC was subject to the clearing request and it was unlikely 45 trees would be felled.
Friends of Mosman Park Bushland members Penny Taylor and Sue Conlan are opposed to council’s proposal to prune bush to re-create World War II views at Buckland Hill.
RAAHS presidenst David Carter and vice-president Graham Mckenzie-smith in the observation post at Buckland Hill Artillery Battery