Here’s what is known about the plan to remove trees at Newmarket Station:
UPDATE 23 JAN: Here is a link to the Council’s own arborist report undertaken 12 months ago. Council are standing by this report.
Two key pages from the report:
Metro Trains and the Department of Transport (DoT) are planning to remove 10 trees at Newmarket Station from this Friday.
The trees identified for removal are nine trees on the Pin Oak Crescent side (one peppercorn tree, six poplars, one elm and one pittosporum tree) and the River Red Gum on the western side of the platform – pictured above.
DoT want to remove the trees to allow a 300-400mm additional retention wall to support to the existing retention wall which is said to have ‘failed’.
The Moonee Valley Council was only told about the removal of the trees on Tuesday.
Local residents and traders have not yet been informed about the removal of the trees.
DoT says it has considered options for fixing the wall while also retaining the tree but that this cannot be achieved.
There are two reports outlining options and the condition of the trees but these reports are not publicly available at this time.
DoT say the River Red Gum poses an immediate threat to people’s safety but have not produced a report that states this.
Council commissioned a report on the tree about 12 months ago and no concerns were raised in that report about an imminent threat posed by the tree.
Council is assessing the tree again today and is working through documentation provided by the DoT.
It is not clear whether the River Red Gum currently poses a safety risk, or whether the works being undertaken to the retaining wall – including penetrating the ground near the roots – will pose the key threat to the tree’s health.
Each tree removed will be replaced with 10 mature trees.
DoT wants the wood from the River Red Gum to be created into structures for local community benefit.
There is a community meeting on site at 7am Friday morning, 24 Jan. All welcome.
At this time, unless convincing evidence is produced that the tree poses an immediate risk, we will be calling for a halt to any proposed works so that:
- all options can be reviewed
- community, including traders, can be properly informed
- we can be sure that every effort is made to save the trees.