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On 21st March 2013 I drove down Victoria Road Marrickville & saw earth-moving equipment with Marrickville Council workers digging up the swale on the bushpocket site. I returned at the end of the day specifically to have a close look. The swale had been totally removed & what was left in its place was a large hole, a flattened area that looked suspiciously like a footpath & paint markings on the dirt also looking like the outline of a footpath.
As Marrickville Council have recently built what I call ‘a footpath to nowhere’ under the railway bridge & around the curve of Victoria Road to Myrtle Street, I assumed the swale was destroyed for an extension of this footpath.
The ‘footpath to nowhere’ ends in Myrtle Street where street trees start. To continue the footpath three good-sized street trees planted around 8 to 10-years-ago will probably need to be removed. That is unless Council make the footpath thinner in this area, but I doubt they will because the rest of it is wide & they tend to like wide paths.
There is a footpath on the opposite side of both Victoria Road & Myrtle Street so pedestrians are okay. There has never been a footpath on the other side of this section of Victoria Road that I am aware of. The area is located beside the goods line & coupled with the hill, made an excellent site for a swale & a bushpocket. There are also 3-4 large mature trees here that screen the railway line.
The swale is a major part of the Victoria Road Bushpocket site. It was built by Marrickville Council in 2009 as part of a community environmental initiative led by local resident Micheal Easton & supported by other local residents. The residents met regularly to plant, weed & clean the bushpocket site. Together they transformed it from a relatively empty, verging on an unsightly litter-attracting patch of land to something that was green, functional & quite lovely.
Council even installed a park bench placed under the shade of a tree. The pathways were loose gravel & it was nice to walk here & have a look to see what was in flower at the time. In March 2011, the project was handed back to Marrickville Council who said they would continue to manage the bushpocket.
Apparently the swale has been destroyed to accommodate a bicycle path. As a cyclist, I think a bike paths are very important & much needed. I question however, with this section of Victoria Road being so wide & already a Council designated on-road cycle route, why Council would need to destroy a swale that was part of local stormwater management & important for biodiversity. The swale was built in this location to capture & clean stormwater before it entered the Cooks River, less than a kilometer away.
Something else to consider is that the bushpocket was thriving & great for biodiversity & habitat creation. Now we will have yet more concrete.
If it costs Council $1,000 to plant a sapling, imagine how much the Bushpocket & swale cost to create & manage & how much it cost to remove it.
Local community group Marrickville Mudcrabs have organized a clean-up event along the Cooks River at Marrickville Golf Course.
- Saturday, 12th May 2012
- 9am – 12MD. Everyone is welcome.
All equipment, gloves, bags & grabbers will be provided, as well as morning tea. Meet in the small reserve at the bottom of Alfred Street, off Beauchamp Street Marrickville. Wear sensible shoes & a hat & bring some water to drink.
I don’t know whether Marrickville Council reads Facebook, but considering the heaps of comments from locals, both good & bad, about living in the municipality there is a lot for Council to learn if they are interested.
The title of this post comes from local resident Kate Webster who a couple of days ago posted a series of 13 photographs on Facebook & linked them to me. The photos show the streetscape traveling along Addison Road from Victoria Road to the Crystal Street turnoff. She wrote, “This is Addison Rd Marrickville. It’s very sad. It has been ignored for too long. Even the shop keepers have been denied planter boxes outside their shops. There is not a nature strip or verge garden in sight. I’d like to know why Marrickville Council have neglected this street for so long? Are they Green or Grinch? Please Help!”
Some of the comments that went with her photos were as follows -
“Can you believe we are still travelling on the same road – its been about 300 metres with just 1 tree! How sad!!!
Now wait a minute….. is that a tree that I spot on the left? But what about the right!
A big stretch of pavement next to the driveway to the service station….surely a tree could fit here?
Any chance of a tree here? Or a verge garden? Any green at all????
Where are the trees???
Still no trees – plenty of room for them but not a single tree…
…. what about the bare footpaths, they are CRYING out for some life! Why no trees?
But wait…. there’s more….. more of NOTHING!!! Where are the trees????
Marrickville Council are you GREEN or GRINCH?? Please help!!!”
I met with Kate yesterday & after a chat about her concerns we talked to shopkeepers along this strip. What we discovered was very interesting & a little confusing. Within the last 18-months or so $60,000 was spent to do up the streetscape outside the small group of shops located between the corner of Illawarra Road & the entrance to the Addison Road Community Centre. The footpath was tiled & 3 planter boxes installed. A section was left untiled & a verge garden was created & planted with Nandinas. Recently the verge garden was dug up & the plants are expected to be replaced very soon.
Cross Illawarra Road on the same side & walk 20-metres towards Enmore Park. Shopkeepers in this section have the option of phoning Council & having planter boxes installed on the footpath. Cross the road at this location & the shopkeepers here cannot have any planter boxes. One recently received the following email from Marrickville Council on this issue. The bold font is my emphasis –
As per your request regarding your shop premises at ___ Addison Rd. I have been advised by Councils Design and Investigations Section that there are no plans to undertake streetscape works in that area within the next 3 years. Additionally, Council has no plans to purchase any additional planter boxes and is not in a position to offer you these.
Planter boxes are outside of the scope of my Sustainable Streets program which is to focus on residential areas only and not commercial business districts. However, your request for planters may be addressed in the future as part of the Public Domain Strategy.
Even though I personally think that plant boxes would help to improve the look of your shop and Addison Rd, I am unable to help you on this occasion.
Can you see why we are confused?
I would consider Addison Road one of Marrickville’s gateway connections & a high thoroughfare road. This means it has high visibility & this visibility gives people passing through a perception of what Marrickville is like as a suburb. The perception they get is one of concrete & any beauty is gathered at the small stretch connecting to leafy Crystal Street.
I think Kate is correct in her opinion that Addison Road is in desperately in need of street trees. Verge gardens like those along Sydenham Road (another gateway road) would also help improve the streetscape. The businesses along Addison Road would very likely benefit financially from a greener streetscape because, as I have written here often, shoppers tend to go where it is green & a green leafy shopping area results in around 11% more spending.
Marrickville Council’s tree-planting season has started & lasts until September. Perhaps Council could seriously look at adding some street trees along Addison Road as a priority, with an aim to have the street green within 2-3 years. Everyone I have spoken to grimaces when asked how they feel about the streetscape of Addison Road. It’s not good to have such visible ugliness in a main corridor for more reasons than just pure aesthetics. There are health issues for the people who work & live close-by as well.
FIND Nacho is also on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/FIND-Nacho/304512562929377
This was the Development Assessment Meeting. Absent: Clr Thanos. The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine. Note: MC = Marrickville Council.
The Councillors & Wards are as follows – LABOR: Iskandar/Central, Wright/North, Tsardoulias/West, O’Sullivan/South. GREENS: Phillips/Central, Peters/North, Byrnes/North, Kontellis/West, Olive/South. INDEPENDENT: Macri/Central, Thanos/West, Hanna/South.
News - The 2011 Local Environment Plan (LEP) was gazetted last Monday.
Community Markets at Newtown Square, Bedford Street Newtown - Application for markets from 7am-6pm Saturday & Sunday for 5-years comprising a maximum 70 stalls. Staff recommended approval for a period of 12-months.
Speaker from the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre said the Centre wanted to support artists, add vibrancy to retail & to add consistency. The current market is unsafe, inconsistent & selling dubious items. This [new] market will have a market manager & there will be a code of conduct. Priority registration for stalls will be for Marrickville LGA & community groups. The square will be a place for locals & will complement retail. The markets won’t sell food, unless it’s prepackaged. There will be 50-70 stalls. Seeking to have a Saturday & Sunday license to stop rogue marketers setting up on the other day.
Speaker 2: Speaking against the application. Feel we need to make a claim for public space. There should be safe & equal access. Concerned about locking up the site over the weekend. Don’t think regulating something that is unregulated is the right thing to do. It’s not a Town Square; it’s really an awkward road closure. Love to see the Hub redeveloped & the Australia Street area shaded & paved. Enough people use this area to be activated. You need a site plan in real size. 70 stalls is too many & a wheelchair won’t fit between the stalls. I ask that you close this down during the Newtown Festival & have on Sundays only. I’d like to see Newtown Neighbourhood Centre have support from the community to raise funds by other means.
Speaker 3: Resident of Australia Street, against the application. It’s a very busy part of Newtown & well used even without the stallholders. Not opposed to a market, but this is the wrong place for a market. Proponent didn’t submit a scaled plan. The stalls would not fit into that space. Concerned also of the maintenance of the grassed area, which needs to be protected.
Clr Macri: Moved the recommendation modifying it to run on one day only with the NNC to choose the day. Clr Wright: LEP would make it very difficult for a 2-day market & could only do this for 1-year. The state government put on this restriction.
Clr Peters: Amendments to 9B & 9E concerning the condition of no live music. This is very restrictive. Musicians like to play & they are also local artists. No vehicles or structures are permitted in garden or lawn areas. We should not be privatizing open space. Absorbed by Clr Macri who said it would be a 12-month trial.
Clr Wright: Including this amendment would reduce the number of stalls. Concerned we are tying them up with so many restrictions. Clr Olive: Supporting the proposal. What Clr Peters proposed is reasonable. The markets provide a vibrant & prosperous event. It’s a real asset to have this on-street vibrancy. Live music should be able to be done. Applaud the fact the food is being removed, but organic fruit & vegetables would be a good thing. Mayor Hanna: Agree with the speaker who said we need more open space. They [residents] want to sleep in. We have to be fair. I’m voting only because it’s for 1 year, but if you include music I won’t vote for it.
Clr Phillips: Concerned that the speaker mentioned ‘rogue traders.’ Reasonable that it will be for only one day on the weekend. 70 stalls is too much & it’s reasonable that the proponents put up a scaled plan. The travel paths & grass needs to be respected. Vote: For – Clrs Tsardoulias, Iskandar, Wright, O’Sullivan, Olive, Peters, Phillips, Kontellis, Byrne & Macri. Against Mayor Hanna. Passed.
We went to the community consultation for the new Marrickville Library today & I at least have answers to my questions. Only the front of the property & the heritage old hospital building along Lilydale Street will be built under the present proposal. This is around one-third of the whole complex. From memory the floor space will be around 1,600 square metres & around double the floor space of the current Marrcikville Library.
The $28.1 million cost is to build a library & restore the old hospital building. It is not to build premises for Council staff from Fisher Street. I was told that the Councillors had made it clear that they did not want the staff from Fisher Street to move to this site. The cost covers the landscaping & the building as well as everything connected with the building such as furniture, lights, kitchen etc. It will not cover borrowable items such as books, CDs & that kind of resource.
All 3 plans include a car park under the new library, but there is an option to build another level that will be sold off to the developers who will build the residential units at the rear of the precinct. The idea is that once digging for the car park, you could dig some more.
The heritage buildings – the old hospital building, the old nurses home & the 3 houses that front Livingstone Road will be retained. Everything else will be demolished & become residential. That’s the only part that bothers me as I think it is a shame that the whole site can’t be kept in public ownership. I like the idea of a precinct for Marrickville Council & if I were in charge of the world, would build the library, wait for a few years until the finances allowed & then build a new Civic Centre for Council & something else for the community on site rather then sell off to developers – but that’s just me.
All 3 plans are concept designs only at this stage. It will be up to the community to say whether they want a new library at all & if they do, what they want in design features for both inside & outside. I think that the outside environment is just as important as the inside. Council is offering a basic survey & an active page where you can add your comments & ideas. These will be looked at & possibly incorporated into the winning design. If only 100 people participate, it will be their views that will decide what the final plan is. I don’t think Council will chase the residents seeking their opinion on this. Community consultation lasts until the end of February 2012. http://yoursaymarrickville.com.au/newlibrarysite
Thanks to the staff who were very helpful, as always, & thanks for the delicious sandwiches.
Then I read the A4 page that I picked up at the consultation event & was alerted to 2 things on this paper –
- “In 1995 Marrickville Council purchased the old Marrickville Hospital site on the corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads with the intent of building a library & civic centre. This vision has not changed over the years….” Yet today I was told the Civic Centre will not be built on this site.
- 2. “Current estimates for the project include;
- library – $25 million,
- park/forecourt – $5 million
Council reserves can meet approximately $7 million however funds of up to $23 million will be needed.” $28.1 million is the cost that was stated in last week’s Council meeting. Here is the uncertainty issue again.
In the Council Meeting of the 16th November 2011 Marrickville Councillors discussed a report that came about from a Notice of Motion by Clr Phillips to upgrade the Marrickville Town Hall forecourt. The report prepared by staff is alarming to me, but not, it seems to the Councillors.
A landscape & heritage & environmental impact assessment was done on the exterior of the Marrickville Town Hall by Conservation Landscape Architects in 2007. That report has been reviewed & Council is proposing restoration works to the Winged Victory memorial steps, gold lettering around the memorial base, new underground lighting, new street furniture, paving, new ‘suitable trees,’ new lighting & a potential bus stop relocation – all at an estimated cost of $450,000. The report warned that this sum could be greater once the design has been completed.
ALL the trees will be removed & 3 ‘suitable’ street trees will be planted as replacements along the side of the Town Hall. My guess these will probably be Ornamental Cherry trees to match what has been planted on both sides of Marrickville Road to the corner of Livingstone Road. They are cheap to buy & absolutely useless to wildlife. The current trees along the exterior wall of the Town Hall building are 7 mature Pencil pines, 2 mature Cocas palms & 2 small Cocas palms & 1 mature Norfork Island palm. These trees, especially the Pencil pines, add to the grandness of the building & considerably soften the façade. At dusk take a seat outside the library & listen. Literally thousands of small birds live in these trees & the sound of them settling down for the night is wonderful. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t like it. Remove these trees & there will be an environmental impact, though I don’t know whether this has been taken into account in the environmental impact assessment. Certainly Council doesn’t care.
There are 2 mature, but small stature Pine trees in the front forecourt connected to the War Memorial & one 5-6 metre Pine tree in a planter box. One of these Pines leans towards the pedestrian footpath, but doesn’t block pedestrian thoroughfare. This is a total of 15 trees to be removed & the replacement with 3 as yet unspecified species. You can bet any money that these will be small stature trees that will not obscure the view of the building & probably deciduous. The community will be left with a sterile box. A grand box, but sterile none-the-less.
The bulk of the upgrade will deal with hard surfaces. Any current softness will go with the removal of the trees. The Town Hall forecourt is a hot, bleak & windy place that hasn’t changed much since the 60s. It will be definitely be hotter & windier after the $450,000 upgrade. If the plans are any guide, I suggest that it will also be uglier. I would hope the granite or stone used does not come from a supplier that uses child labour. http://infochangeindia.org/livelihoods/sidelines/children-of-the-stone-quarries.html
The Urban Heat Island Effect is not pseudo-science. It has been proven that hard surfaces from the ground to the roof trap & increase heat. That Council plans to do all this in an era of climate change baffles me. The forecourt will certainly not be a place to meet or a place to hold civic events. This is placemaking in the reverse.
The following are excerpts from 2010 research from the US National Recreation & Park Association who say scientific testing of the nature-human health hypothesis that the strength, consistency & convergence of the findings are remarkable. “When we compare people with more versus less ready access to parks & other green environments, we find that they exhibit differences in well-being & functioning in each of the 3 trademark domains: social, psychological & physical health. In greener settings – rooms, buildings, neighborhoods & larger areas with more vegetation, we find that people are more generous & more desirous of connections with others; we find stronger neighborhood social ties & greater sense of community, more mutual trust & willingness to help others; & we find evidence of healthier social functioning in neighborhood common spaces – more (positive) social interaction in those spaces, greater shared use of spaces by adults & children.
In less green environments, we find higher rates of aggression, violence, violent crime & property crime (like graffiti) – even after controlling for income & other differences. We also find more evidence of loneliness & more individuals reporting inadequate social support.
Greater access to green views & green environments yields better cognitive functioning; more proactive, more effective patterns of life functioning; more self-discipline & more impulse control; greater mental health overall; & greater resilience in response to stressful life events. Less access to nature is linked to exacerbated attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms, more sadness & higher rates of clinical depression. People with less access to nature are more prone to stress & anxiety, as reflected not only individuals’ self-report but also measures of pulse rate, blood pressure & stress-related patterns of nervous system & endocrine system anxiety, as well as physician-diagnosed anxiety disorders.
The impacts of parks & green environments on human health extend beyond social & psychological health outcomes to include physical health outcomes. Greener environments enhance recovery from surgery, enable & support higher levels of physical activity, improve immune system functioning, help diabetics achieve healthier blood glucose levels & improve functional health status & independent living skills among older adults. By contrast, environments with less green are associated with greater rates of childhood obesity; higher rates of 15 out of 24 categories of physician-diagnosed diseases, including cardiovascular diseases; & higher rates of mortality in younger & older adults.
Most important, all of these studies take into account the role that income might play in an apparent link between access to nature and physical health outcomes. While it is true that richer people tend to have both greater access to nature & better physical health outcomes, the comparisons here show that people of the same socio-economic status who have greater access to nature have better physical health outcomes.
While street trees, parks & public green spaces are often regarded as mere amenities—ways to beautify our communities & make life a little more pleasant, the science tells us that they play a central role in human health & healthy human functioning. Much like eating greens provides essential nutrients, so does seeing & being around green.”
Remember Marrickville was chosen for the 2010 ABC reality series Making Australia Happy because a 2008 Deakin University survey found people in the Inner West were found to be the unhappiest in the country. A 2009 TAFE paper said that Marrickville LGA has the least green space of any other municipality in Australia, therefore opportunities to green our streetscapes & buildings like this are vitally important. Remember that housing for 4,325 people is to be built in Marrickville. That will be a lot of unhappy people if Council doesn’t do something to green up the area. I have for a long time noticed the inequity throughout Marrickville LGA when it comes to parks, street trees & streetscapes.
The few street trees along the shopping strip of Marrickville Road are deciduous & bare for a good chunk of the year. The Canary Island Palms a block away from the Town Hall at the old Marrickville Hospital site are expected to be relocated somewhere when the new library complex is built & the wonderfully shaped mature Camphor laurel will be chopped down for the very odd reason that it will be in the middle of the proposed park. The other mature trees like the Casuarinas & Jacaranda will have to be chopped down for building work. 31 trees & possibly more around the back will lost just in this location. At Marrickville Town Hall one block away 15 trees will be lost. Go around the corner to the old Marrickville RSL site where a ‘revolution’ is happening & all the street trees, 1 Hills Fig, a few Eucalypts & a few Casuarinas will also get the chop. Some have gone already.
Clr Macri, though he is happy for all the trees to be removed, is the only Councillor who wants the gold lettering of the fallen soldiers names replaced. I agree with him in this regard. Why allow a War Memorial to become so worn? Surely there are some WW2 soldiers still alive in the Inner West & there will certainly be descendants of these soldiers living locally. What does this say to them? The War Memorial in Balmain was never without wreaths at its base in the many years I lived there. I have yet to see one at ours, though to be fair, perhaps it happens on Anzac Day. The choice of Pencil pines around the Town Hall & the War Memorial was deliberate – they symbolize life & immortality.
The community relies on Council’s expertise to take into account research like the above when designing public spaces. Council is in charge of providing us with a healthy green environment. Whether they are actually doing this is a matter for debate & very much depends on where in the LGA you live. City of Sydney Council announced last August that they intend to increase their urban forest by 50% while only few people know how many trees Marrickville Council planted this year or removed or were lost to poisoning & other kinds of vandalism. For Sydney Council, it’s more than a matter of financial ability, it’s about an attitude & a decision to green their municipality.
I believe there should be community consultation about this upgrade. I highly doubt the community will say that they like the current plans. I think the community wants something with real substance & vision for the Town Hall forecourt.
I made a short YouTube video of the Marrickville Town Hall forecourt here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFbCp6o0gs8
Previous post August 2010 here – http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/marrickville-war-memorial-the-trees/
Last week I was contacted by local people about a Fig tree chopped down on private property . The story I was told goes like this –
Men with chainsaws arrive & start chopping down a Fig tree on private property. Local residents ask what is going on & whether Marrickville Council gave permission. Men with chainsaws say they are from Marrickville Council & can chop the tree down because the tree is a Fig & there is a DA in to develop the property. Residents debate this & say they are going to call Council. Residents call Council 3 times over next hour. Another resident visits the site. The men with chainsaws say the Council has already been & that the tree is a Weeping Fig & gave permission for it to be chopped down. The men with chainsaws are very aggressive & threaten to punch resident. After the residents tell the men with chainsaws that Council is coming, they drop the chainsaws for 30 minutes. An hour after the first phone call to Council, a Council staff member arrives. The men with chainsaws tell the Council staff member that they don’t need Council’s permission because the tree is a Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina). Apparently the Council member accepts this. He informs the residents that he was told the tree is a Weeping Fig & that he has checked this through GPS. He also tells the residents that Weeping Figs are not native to Australia & do not support wildlife. The residents tell him that the tree is always full of birds & flying foxes. The staff member leaves & the men with chainsaws chop the tree down & put it through a woodchip machine. A resident calls Council who say their records show the tree is a Weeping Fig, but keeps mentioning a different address & speaks of the difficulty of prosecuting. Council informs the resident that the fine is $600 & to get that Council would need to take them to Court. Later another Council staff member contacts the residents saying he doesn’t understand what happened & asks who from Council actually visited the site as this was the first he had heard of it & inspecting the tree was actually his role. He said he did not understand why the chopping was allowed to continue, as the usual practice is to send a Council expert to formally identify the tree. An Arborist not related to Council looks at photos of the tree & identifies it as Hills Fig. There is a dispute in the minds of the residents. Residents are left feeling angry, helpless, traumatized & unsupported.
Tree removal is a difficult & highly emotive issue. By law, property owners have the right to remove trees on their property if the trees are identified as not needing permission to remove. Marrickville Council has a list of these trees here – http://bit.ly/s7UF7Q By law, a property owner does not have to answer to residents when removing a tree or plant on this list. If residents dispute the legality of removing a tree or plant on private property, the only thing that they can do is follow a process, which is –
- Notifying the regulating authority, which is Council. Being the regulating authority, Council should have appropriate processes in place as well as the appropriate motivation to immediately follow-up the possibility that the tree is being removed illegally for 2 purposes: a) to stop an illegality b) if the removal was illegal, to be in a position to prosecute the illegality, instead of ignoring the community’s calls & missing the opportunity to collect evidence for itself.
- If the community does not feel that Council took sufficient action, they can write to the NSW Ombudsman. The NSW Ombudsman has the discretionary power to investigate Council’s conduct & procedures. If he does decide to investigate, Council is bound by law to co-operate with the NSW Ombudsman.
So that’s the process. This particular tree removal brings up the following issues –
- The community was taken by surprise. There is nothing that can be done about this because the property owner is not obliged to notify the neighbours about the impending tree removal. We all have the right to remove trees & plants on our property that are on Council’s list of being able to be removed without permission & not have to enter into communication with the community about this. Obviously much angst could be prevented if we did take it upon ourselves to let the neighbours know that we intend to remove a tree on our property & tell them why. It’s a kind thing to do & would go a long way towards having good community relations.
- The length of time it took a Council representative to come to the site. Right or wrong, the residents regarded this situation as an emergency. One suggested that there should be a hotline for tree removals. If there was a hotline, it would send a strong message that Council takes tree removal seriously. I assume Council would say that they already have telephone numbers on which residents can call.
- The residents are confused why the Council representative did not collect his own evidence to identify the tree species while on site, but simply accepted what he was told by the men holding the chainsaws. Residents are also confused as to who actually came from Council & why they did not stick to Council’s own procedures.
- Later during a phone call made by a resident to Council asking about illegal tree removal, Council only expressed the difficulties of prosecution. This made the resident believe that Council has very little or no motivation to follow through with this process should the tree be found to be a species other than on the list of trees that can be removed without permission. This reluctance to enforce the law may also explain why the Council officer did not bother collecting his own evidence.
- The threats of violence from the men carrying chainsaws is of concern as it highlights a real risk of something bad happening during a tree removal. I believe accountability will eventually result in a change of culture regarding trees & this will go a long way towards preventing aggression.
- In this case, it was found that there are no records of a DA on either a web search or on Council’s website. The residents quite rightly believe that because they were misled about who was chopping down the tree & about a DA, that they were also misled about the species of tree. They believe that they were not given support from Council who should have offered to identify the species. Nor do they have any faith that Council would do anything if it were found to be an illegal removal. With the fine for illegal tree removal being the princely sum of $600, it’s no wonder Council is not chafing at the bit to follow this up. It would likely cost them many times more in terms of staff time & court costs to follow through to prosecution.
So that’s the story. There are no winners here. The owner of the tree has angry neighbours & the tree removal company has people who have a negative opinion of their workers. Word of mouth is a powerful thing that tends to linger for years. The community is grieving the loss of a tree that they believe was taken down illegally before a DA is submitted to Council. The Council is perceived to be slow, uninformed about tree species, indifferent & inept. Something should be done to reduce the potential for anger, misunderstanding, violence &, of course, illegal tree removal.
Today Jarvie Park in Marrickville played host to White Ribbon Day. White Ribbon Day is a yearly event held to highlight & educate against violence against women. Many local community services groups were represented in a day packed full of activities that was organised by the Multi Mix Mob. For once I made the opening speeches, but I only stayed for an hour so missed the rest of the activities.
Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt MP opened the event & ABC Stateline was there to record for a program that will be televised in the next couple of weeks. A local Aboriginal elder women welcomed us all with a speech & a dance. Mayor Fiona Byrne was due to speak at noon & later in the afternoon, the Sydney Kings were going to take the following oath swearing to – “Never commit violence against women. Never to excuse violence against women. Never to remain silent about violence against women. This is my oath.” Their participation will send out a strong message to the younger generation that violence against women is unacceptable. There were many school children in attendance as well as many people from the community. The Magic Yellow Bus was there also.
Jarvie Park looked lovely. The weather was great & the shade from the trees very welcome. There is a fine playground & an active community youth centre within the park. This Marrickville event was a resounding success with a good crowd attending & more arriving as we were leaving.
The stats about violence towards women are disturbing. 1 in 3 women in Australia will be assaulted or abused in her lifetime. Hopefully events like these will stop the cycle of violence. You can find out more about White Ribbon Day at – http://www.whiteribbonday.org.au/
Marrickville Council intends to remove a Revolution Green Melaleuca bracteataoutside 87 Meeks Road, Marrickville & give the following reason for removal –
- Repeated lopping by Energy Australia has reduced the amenity value of the tree.
Council says they will replace it with a Ivory CurlBackhousia citriodora, but don’t say when they will do this.
Council is correct. This tree is butchered beyond repair. Unfortunately, so are a number of others along this stretch of Meeks Road. The residents must have been appalled when they came home & saw their streetscape ruined.
I expect Council will do a staged removal of other street trees in this street that have recently undergone the EA Chop, though I’m not suggesting they do. It’s just that I can’t see much difference between this tree & quite a few others within spitting distance. They all look mutilated, but perhaps the others will grow to look a bit better over time. Across the road are a number of normalMelaleuca bracteata street trees & they look lovely. I will not be putting in a submission.
The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 12th October 2010.