A 100-year-old River Red Gum at Newmarket Station, Flemington, is due to be cut down by the Department of Transport this Friday, ahead of the January 26 long weekend.
Moonee Valley City Council was told on Tuesday morning that the heritage tree would be removed due to its impact on the retaining wall and other safety concerns.
The MVBlog understands that Moonee Valley Council has sought further information about the number of trees to be removed and have not been informed how many trees will be removed.
The Council has also asked for access to an independent arborist report.
Moonee Valley Council has been told that the State Government Transport Department has the power to override the Environmental Significance Overlay protecting the River Red Gum and other trees.
In late 2018, the Council was told the tree’s roots were impacting the train-track. A Council commissioned arborist report said this was not the case.
The National Trust, in December 2018, stated its opposition to the removal of the tree identifying the tree as “a particularly old remnant tree … of outstanding size, measuring 28m in height … and an important part of this area’s heritage [that] should be protected for future generations”.
The Flemington Association has lobbied for the retention of the heritage trees surrounding the station.
There had been no further word on the future of tree, and other nearby heritage trees including a large fig tree, for almost a year prior to the announcement on Tuesday that the tree would be removed.