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1.   4 new Australian National Parks have been opened in Victoria in June 2010 – the Barmah, Lower Goulburn, Warby Ovens & Gunbower National Parks have been established to protect drought stressed Red Gums. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/29/2939503.htm

2.  South East Queensland got 2 new national parks this week at Tewantin & Pumicestone to protect remnant forests.  2000 hectares was also added to Glass House National Park & 13 of the 14 peaks of the Glass House Mountains are now in the park. These parks will protect threatened stringybark & scribbly gum forests & the rare & threatened glossy Black Cockatoo (I’ve seen these wild in Cooroy), the Wallum Rocketfrog, the Sooty Owl & the Water Mouse. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/new-national-parks-for-seq-20100623-yxc5.html

3.  Lend Lease is building an over-55 residential living & nursing home development in Morpeth NSW approved by Maitland City Council.  One of the things Maitland City Council also approved was the removal of more than 900 trees (not a typo) that are to be chopped down for the development.  The trees were called a buffer zone, which to me means an area that is a habitat for wildlife corridor. The residents are angry. http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/woes-ignored/1867183.aspx

4.   Community protesters against a plan to transfer Moore Park to the SCG trust have won their fight. Last Wednesday night 1,000 people met at Paddington Town Hall. The next day Premier Kristina Keneally said the land would not be taken from the Centennial Park trust. http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/moore-park-saved-community-victorious-over-revolting-land-transfer-plans/

5.   The Opinion section of the Batemans Bay Post had a letter from Rosemary Hughes from Surf Beach about a DA for a new Bunnings. She writes, “…to my horror, I learned that the Bunnings proposal will remove tens of thousands of trees & huge amounts of earth/rock from alongside the tourist drive road next to the Surf Beach roundabout, creating a vast flat open space equivalent to 7 football fields with a monster shed over 200 metres long.  It will mean the loss of a huge area of habitat & connecting corridors for an important range of native fauna. Bird life will be equally devastated.” Surely both Bunnings could choose a better site & the Batemans Bay Council will protect such an area. Here’s hoping sense prevails.  The other letters are also interesting regarding environmental matters. http://www.batemansbaypost.com.au/news/opinion/letters/general/letters-to-the-editor-23610/1866731.aspx?storypage=0

6.    The Department of Climate Change has put together a new mapping tool that identifies areas at risk of flooding by rising sea levels.  This is to be distributed to Councils soon.  Last Marrickville Council meeting Mackey Park & Botany Bay area were mentioned as areas that could be affected by a 1 metre sea rise, yet climate experts think the actual rise will be more like 2 metres.  Amazing to think what would have to be submerged if Mackey Park became beachfront. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/mapping-tool-for-councils-charts-sealevel-rises-to-2100-20100628-zf9w.html

7.   Railcorp has angered residents by chopping down trees alongside the railway line in Epping & they intend to do more at Beecroft. Railcorp said, The site of the works was found to be 95% noxious species of plants & the remaining natives were left in place & pruned.” http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/rta-claims-tree-lopping-an-improvement/

8.   Community group Save Our Springwood are angry saying they were actively ignored by the majority of Councillors during a Blue Mountains Council meeting regarding community opposition to the building of a supermarket in Springwood. Apparently 7 Councillors “sat silently” for the entire 2½ hour meeting, even after members of the crowd asked them questions.” Between 230-400 residents attended the Council meeting. I would have loved to have been there. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/blue-mountains-residents-ignored-by-silent-seven-councillors/

9.    Goondiwindi Regional Council chopped down an unspecified number of Fig trees in McLean Street Goondiwindi because “the figs were damaging the footpath & getting in the way of power lines” much to the anger of the community. The Fig trees were young at around 50 years old & are what Goondiwindi is known for. Not any more they aren’t. http://www.goondiwindiargus.com.au/news/local/news/general/residents-fuming-over-fig-tree-loss/1865921.aspx

10.  One of Australia’s rarest birds has been spotted in remote Western Australia. (audio) http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2010/06/21/2932972.htm

11. The IKEA heritage Fig has been removed. See below.  There is a lot happening regarding trees & related things at the moment.  Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

The IKEA heritage Fig was relocated on Saturday 26th June 2010. The tree is now is now much closer to the Princes Highway at the side of the old Penfold's clock tower building. It was moved about 40-50 metres. Thanks to Laurel Horton who took this photo to & Richard Blair both of Marrickville Heritage Society for the information as well as permission to use this photo.

glorious Fig standing sentinel on Lilyfield Road Rozelle

ABC’s Stateline has another fantastic news item with a 2.25 minute video. The NSW Housing Department has given $30 million for a tree planting program in tree-poor housing estates across Sydney. Boys Town residents will be trained in planting the semi-mature trees & caring for them for the first 12 months.  After that, it is hoped the community will take over the care for the trees.

15,000 semi-mature trees (looked to be 4-6 metre) will be planted along 150 kilometres of urban & regional arterial roads, parks & streetscapes. The emphasis is on shade trees that have significant canopies to lessen the heat, help pedestrians & improve the look of bleak areas by creating avenues of trees. The video is interesting viewing. The program is truly remarkable.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/05/07/2893807.htm

Since April 2010 the community has been protesting development by Delfin Lend Lease at the ADI site Cranebrook. One protester said “Native wildlife gone, native bushland gone, everything is slowly disappearing in front of our eyes.” http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/adi-site-protesters-vow-fight-isn-t-over/

Canberra has lost more than 20,000 public trees over the last 7 years. The removal of a further 1719, mostly Eucalypts commenced this week.  For the first time since 2003, trees will be replaced on nature strip. Replacement of street trees stopped due to the drought.  http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/tree-program-to-remove-hazards/1819743.aspx

Disturbing news for Adelaide’s trees as new rules will make it easier for councils & developers to cut down established trees, raising concerns it will lead to fewer trees in Adelaide’s suburbs. Currently trees with a trunk circumference of 2m, measured at 1m above the natural ground level, are protected as significant. The conservation group, People for Trees is concerned about the implications saying “councils should do more to preserve their trees. They are just leaving trees to just rot, then something happens & they say `we’ll just chop down the tree.” First to go is a River red Gum because fallen branches damaged a car. I ask, why not prune the dying branches before they fall? http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/new-south-australian-rules-the-unkindest-cut-for-established-trees/story-e6frea83-1225858567248

However Councillors in Adelaide’s San Antonio City Council bucked the trend by voting in favor of stricter environmental ordinances, preventing developers from bulldozing trees, preserving current trees & planting trees.  http://www.kens5.com/news/More-trees-will-be-preserved-under-environmental-rules-enacted-by-SA-council-93066469.html

The NSW Minister for Climate Change & the Environment, Frank Sartor, has launched a new website to provide information on the proposed changes to River Red Gum forests, wetlands & woodlands. This is a great move. http://www.riverredgums.nsw.gov.au You can read about the launch & more about the web-site & the forests at – http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/river-red-gums-website-goes-live/

A lovely article from the University of Richmond in the USA where they are building Robins Stadium, but preserving what is thought to be the oldest tree on campus. The college employed a Tree Surgeon to supervise with digging during construction to ensure no harm came to the tree. http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/sports/college/college_football/article/URFB11_20100510-223007/343604/

Casurinas near Mackey park

In NSW, there are stories every week of old & heritage trees in school playgrounds being removed for the building of new halls as part of the Federal government’s stimulus program.  Old news being November 2009, but a great example is the loss of 14 mature Box trees planted in 1956 in Lathlain Primary School Perth for construction of classrooms & car parks. There was strong protest from students & parents.

One of the mothers said 
that a spokesman for the education department turned up and said ‘these trees are going down & there is nothing you can do about it’ before walking off. Then the chainsaws started. The first comment left by Kate of Lathlain provides further details. She writes “…we & our families will be left with the legacy of having to fundraise for air conditioning.” To read about the Lathlain Primary School trees – http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/parents-children-lose-fight-to-save-school-trees/story-e6frg15c-1225796602477 To see the photos of the trees being chopped down -http://www.perthnow.com.au/gallery-e6frg1vc-1225796570712?page=1

Lastly, for pure delight, a 2.54 sec YouTube video of David Attenborough presenting Australia’s unique Lyre Bird imitating the sounds of a camera shutter, a camera with a motor drive, a car alarm & quite horribly, the sound of chainsaws cutting down forest trees. http://bit.ly/8y7tKO

The University of Tasmania have just completed a 3 year nation-wide study as to why some people prefer a leafy front garden while others don’t. Interestingly, tertiary educated people preferred trees & the higher the  income, the more trees. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/03/2888948.htm

An unusual story of public tree removal in Newport:  The Cumberland Courier reported that an unspecified number of trees & scrub has been removed from Barenjoey Road by Pittwater Council. Residents requested the trees be removed saying the trees were not native & removing them would open up the area to ocean views from North Newport. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trees-removed-barrenjoey-views-restored/

Pittwater Council’s Natural Environment Reference Group has submitted a plan to have all new DAs required to maintain wildlife corridors across their land. This would also include retaining dead trees, as these are especially important for providing homes for a variety of wildlife.  The new plan specifically targets the protection of Green-&-Gold Bell Frogs, Swift Parrots, Squirrel Gliders, Southern Brown Bandicoots & (would you believe they are even there) Koalas.  Any DA will also be required to plant more trees & wildlife sustaining landscaping. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/protection-plan-for-endangered-animals/

Mid April 2010 North Sydney Council decided to explore the idea of replanting garden beds in parks & reserves with vegetables. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/councillors-dig-vegie-patch-idea/

North Sydney Council stopped mowing verges early 2009, but after complaints from residents, they will now do a one-off mow at the cost of $58,000. They also intend to reinstate verge mowing by the end of 2010.

Just as an aside, I was told Marrickville Council spends about $2 million per year mowing our verges.  Makes me wonder what that that money could be used for if we just mowed our own & our neighbours if they didn’t have a mower.  $2 million could repair the Coptic Church in Sydenham for history’s sake & for community use or it could buy a lot of street & park trees amongst many other things. I saw a sign in Catherine Street Leichhardt yesterday that read something like – ‘2.3 million dollar footpath upgrade.’ Or we could just grow veggie or flower gardens on our verges.   http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/nature-strips-to-be-mowed-soon/

Energy Australia has angered the community once again by ‘butchering’ 2 large trees in Allambie Heights shopping centre. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/locals-angry-over-allambie-tree-butchery/

An 18 metre high Port Jackson Fig tree with a canopy spreading about 15 metres listed on the Significant Tree Register of City of Sydney Council was removed last month due to extensive rot.  It was part of a row of Figs in Joynton Aveneue Zetland.  The lost tree will be replaced by a mature Port Jackson Fig. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/urgent-removal-of-fig-tree-in-zetland/

City of Sydney Council has joined with Marrickville Council in formally opposing the M5 extension that will go through Tempe Reserve, over Tempe Wetlands & terminate at Euston Road at Sydney Park. Terrific news. http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/sydney-council-formally-opposes-m5-extension/

It will be interesting to learn how the trial at removing smog in the M5 during March went. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/m5-pollution-trial/

A home up for sale in the Brisbane suburb of Mackenzie incurred $20,000 damage after the front garden was excavated & 10 Palm trees stripped down by unknown workers who fled when people came to watch.  It is thought they were working on the wrong property. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/7685319/Australian-workmen-dig-up-wrong-garden.html

Finishing the ongoing story about the trees in the carpark of Walmart in Henderson Tennessee that were savagely pruned recently, Walmart have been ordered to replace 100 of the Elm trees. This will cost them around US$25,000. http://www.wkrn.com/Global/story.asp?S=12213247

row of trees along a footpath in Birchgrove

Street trees in Eastwood. Most of the residential streets in this & surrounding suburbs have many tall trees.

Dr Jago Dodson from Griffith University’s Urban Research Program is advocating the creation of many more community gardens in cities saying there will be increased pressure on urban areas to produce food in the future.

“In the context of some of the big challenges we’re facing – challenges about the sustainability of rural & regional agriculture, challenges about drought conditions, changing environmental conditions, questions about global warming’s impact on food supplies across the world & also questions about the sustainability of petroleum, which is one of the key inputs into industrial agricultural systems – those big changes are going to start to motivate more creatively how we produce food in society.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/22/2852294.htm

Most residential streets in Chatswood have many tall, shady street trees. This is the norm.

Dr Dodson has some innovative ideas that I think are really exciting.  Judging by Marrickville Council’s support for the latest verge gardening project in Wilga Avenue & the community garden in Denison Road Dulwich Hill, I would imagine Council will also support other community gardens in the LGA.  This year they have said they will provide help in-kind such as removing cement to facilitate such projects & that there are a number of suitable places for community gardens in the LGA.  Access to water is the main issue if the gardens are not on the verges out front.

I predict community gardens will be as popular as book clubs in the not too distant future & as is with Book Clubs, only limited places are available so it pays to be involved from the beginning.

The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health published research from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam showed that living less than 1km (0.62miles) from a green space had a major impact in lowering the incidence of major physical disease & mental ill-health.

Professor Barbara Maher of the Lancaster Environment Centre said, “The study confirmed that green spaces create oases of improved health around them especially for children.” She said, “At least part of this ‘oasis’ effect probably reflects changes in air quality.”

More proof that a good-sized street tree out front does more than beautify, raise property values & reduce your power costs for heating & cooling.  Street trees also remove up to 60% of street level particulate matter such as dust, smoke, ash & the sooty bi-product from car & truck exhausts that we would generally filter through our lungs & which cause asthma & other respiratory illnesses. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8307024.stm

A recent study found tripling the number of street trees could reduce asthma among children by 25 percent.  Researchers from Columbia University in the US found rates of asthma fell by a ¼ when there were around 350 more trees in a square kilometre. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/05May/Pages/Asthmarisklowinleafysuburbs.asp

The research found that children are less likely to develop asthma if they live in tree-lined streets, particularly in areas with more street trees.  Here, I think they mean nice big trees with a canopy, not the hacked variety that are so prevalent in Marrickville LGA.

Part of the aims of New York City’s Million Tree Program is to reduce the incidence of respiratory illness as well as improve the overall mental & physical health of its residents.  They also believe in global warming & in 2005, New York tallied its CO2 emissions & found they were approximately 1% of US totals & less than 1/3 of the average US per capita level. 79% CO2 came from buildings. They believe their emissions are so low because there is a heavy reliance on cycling & public transport use. They still to reduce their CO2 emissions by a further 33%. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2007/2007-04-11-03.asp

Rockdale City Council planted street trees along both side of the Princes Hwy Rockdale for approximately 2 km. The awnings posed a problem, so each tree was pruned into a ball & these are maintained regularly. I like what Rockdale Council has done. It looks great & brings green every 3 metres along the shopping strip.

A short, succinct article from Real Estate Agents about the monetary worth of trees on your property, which says, “mature trees & a well-landscaped yard can improve your home’s value by 10-25%.”

Every time I mention this to others I watch the disbelief on their faces, yet this estimate is a number I come across repeatedly in research & articles about the value of trees.

Try looking in the local community papers in the Real Estate section.  If there is a street tree in front of the property, the photographer always includes a branch or leaves from the tree in the photo of the property.  They do this because the sight of trees has a subconscious effect on us.  When we see leafy green, we get a feeling of peace & safety even if we are not directly aware of this. Leafy green means good place to rear children, safety & happiness.  Not to many of us will look at a photo of a property surrounded by cement with no green & compare it favorably with a property that has trees & landscaping, even if the greener property is of lesser value.

http://www.keeferealestate.com/news/concierge.php?itemid=620

The iconic Coral trees in Clifton Gardens were chopped down mid April 2010 by Mosman Council as part of an upgrade of the picnic area. They said the trees had a high-hazard rating.  The residents were very unhappy to lose these & 4 other trees. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trees-cleared-at-clifton-gardens-no-picnic-for-some-residents/

Professional tree trimmers in Gilroy California killed 2 owlets when they chopped down a palm tree despite being warned twice about the nest. The Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center is caring for the third owlet, who survived the fall. Police are investigating. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/05/21/2-baby-owls-killed-when-palm-tree-cut-down/UPI-39621211398657/

Energy Australia reduced a Frenches Forest woman to tears after their tree pruners entered her property & ‘butchered’ her trees.  She said her trees grew straight upwards & were 4 metres away from the power lines & Energy Australia’s intervention was unnecessary.  The first comment by ‘Chips’ is also interesting as he says this has happened to trees on his property numerous times. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/tears-over-butchered-garden/

Good news… Buffalo, Illinois, a town of 500 residents has no more room for street trees. They have been focused on street tree planting since 1986 & have now run out of room.  Mike Dirksen, city arborist in nearby Springfield said, “There are so many benefits from trees.  They shouldn’t just be seen as having an ornamental purpose.” This should be engraved on a gold plaque. Bet the town looks stunning! http://friendsoftrees.org/blog/2010/04/16/illinois-town-has-no-more-room-for-trees/

CELEBRITY NEWS (drum-roll please) Last April, in Sao Paulo, Avatar Producer James Cameron & actor Sigourney Weaver planted a native Brazilian tree pau-brasil which is 99% extinct to kick-off a global Earth Day Network which intends to plant 1 million trees in 15 countries by the end of 2010.  http://www.tonic.com/article/james-cameron-plants-first-one-million-trees/

Chatswood, Ashfield, Pacific Hwy & Alexandria - all are very busy roads & they have large street trees at close spacing.

1.          The Cumberland Courier reported that Energy Australia is to spend $62 million installing high-voltage power lines between substations at Allambie Heights & Balgowlah to protect endangered tree communities at River Flat Eucalyptus Forest & Duffys Forest Ecological Community & to not damage historic Sloane Crescent Bridge.  This is a great thing they are doing. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/power-plan-to-protect-trees/

showing the Optus cables clearance - extreme at this end of Renwick St Marrickville South. At the other end of this street the branches were pruned to & above the Optus cables

Pity about what Energy Australia did to the street trees at the Woolworths end of Renwick Street during ‘routine pruning’  last February.   People just looked at the trees with their mouth open.  As usual, the feeling was “the damage is done & there is nothing we can do about it.”

It is such as shame as we know they can do better.  See http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/tree-pruning-planting-practices-compare/ where just last February I complimented Energy Australia for the good pruning they did in Excelsior Parade.  Even Renwick Street has different pruning outcomes.  The lower end, towards Carrington Road, the street trees were moderately pruned. Some trees that had been almost destroyed during the previous pruning cycle 7-8 years ago were looked after this time.  Interestingly, Energy Australia workers did not clear branches below the Optus cables at this end of Renwick Street, whereas up the other end the Optus cables where given a huge clearance. The trees on the corner of Renwick & Excelsior had more than 2/3s of their canopy removed.

2.         Brisbane City Council announced they will plant 2 million trees across the city by 2012.  This is a fabulous initiative & the community can participate. http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE::pc=PC_2645

Their website http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE::pc=PC_694 says residents can request a street tree be planted & provides a list of suitable trees.  Brisbane City Council also say they plant trees which will not interfere with overhead powerlines & that street trees are classified as “valuable Council & community assets” & protected under the Natural Assets Local Law making it an offence to prune, interfere with or remove street trees.  Wonderful.

In another lovely initiative, Brisbane City Council has organised Tree Trail. Information & a map of 20 locations can be downloaded highlighting special & significant trees around the CBD.  I think this is a terrific idea & believe it would be a boon for tourism.  HTTP://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE::pc=PC_936

3.                 Hornsby Councillor Bruce Mills’ proposal to plant mature trees to create ‘instant boulevards’ was voted in during a March Council Meeting.  Residents need to request that their street become a tree-lined boulevard. Councillor Mills says this initiative will be “returning ratepayer funds in a way which adds to their property value.” http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/tree-lined-streets-are-a-reality-in-cherrybrook/

After pruning by Energy Australia, this tree on Renwick Street is a shadow of its former self

The Boulevard in Dulwich Hill is an excellent local example of a street loved because of its many, large street trees that cascade over the road.  Ask any real estate agent & they will tell you this street is sort after with buyers paying more to purchase property here because of the presence of these trees.

The following is a short, but relevant article about trees & property value in America.  Adelaide University has assessed the value of trees upwards to 25% of the property’s value in line with Australian property prices as they are more expensive than in the USA. http://www.keeferealestate.com/news/concierge.php?itemid=620

Personally, I would love it if our Council copied the ‘instant boulevard’ idea. Even planting more developed trees would be a step forward as these have a greater chance of surviving.  City of Sydney Council planted 200 litre root-ball 4 metre high Simon Poplars along & on the corner of side streets in Glebe Point Road  in 2009.   All these trees have survived & are growing well.  There positive impact was immediate & the area looks greener & prettier for it.

4.                 City of Sydney Greens Councillor Chris Harris wrote about a proposed cycleway in Johnstons Creek that he says will destroy wildlife habitat.  This new 2.5 meter wide cement path starts at Orphan Creek, an woodland & wildlife habitat area in Forest Lodge that was decimated for a similar path in 2009 despite enormous & organised community opposition.  What is also disturbing in this article is residents from Minogue Crescent who are directly affected by the new cycleway, were refused permission to address the Councillors during a Council Meeting who ‘voted in a block’ to deny them this opportunity.  I would have thought it a right.   http://www.chrisharris.org.au/2010/03/10/johnstons-creek-cycleway-on-the-wrong-track/

5. The Daily Telegraph reported that State Forests NSW started woodchip logging in the Mumbulla & Murrah state forests on 29th March 2010 despite this being the last area in SE NSW where the threatened species Koala lives. A group of residents attempting to save the Koala habitat managed to stop logging by getting in the way of loggers. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/tense-stand-off-over-koala-colony/story-e6freuyi-1225847595335?from=public_rss

This street tree in Renwick Street had a naturally round canopy. Before it was pruned early 2010, it looked something like the area shaded in yellow. It may have been taller

Koalas are listed as a threatened species & classified as ‘vulnerable.’ From the NSW state governments own web-site – A ‘vulnerable’ species is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances & factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate. Yet, they are taking down forests where Koalas are known to live.  I just don’t understand this.

Everyone fell in love with the burnt Koala who was filmed drinking water given by a Fireman during last year’s Victorian bushfires, but we can’t rely on our government to save our national emblem.  For more information about this issue including how you can help, go to Nature Conservation Council of NSW http://nccnsw.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3002&Itemid=1

Eucalypt outside 11 Union St Dulwich Hill - Council says tree is seriously sick with many other problems

1.        3 street trees are up for removal in Marrickville LGA.  One of them is a Eucalypt outside 11 Union Street Dulwich Hill that SoT & the community campaigned to save back in June 2009  http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/first-tree-at-risk-union-street-dulwich-hill/ & http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/26th-october-09-beautiful-healthy-street-tree-lives-on-because-of-you/ The other trees are in Hamden Avenue Marrickville & Railway Crescent Petersham.  I will go have a look at them & post something when I know more.

2. Save Hoskins Park was established by Dulwich Hill residents who are vehemently opposed to a DA which plans to demolish two 1920s Federation houses & build 11 modern

View of the DA site from the high end of Hoskins Park - the residents are also concerned about 2 mature park trees located close to the boundary

3 storey town houses with underground parking.  9 of the townhouses will face Hoskins Park. The community is opposing this DA for a variety of reasons.  They are also very concerned the townhouses will loom over Hoskins Park.  This is a reasonable fear because the bulk of Hoskins Park is located at the bottom of a natural valley.

SoT is concerned about this DA for 2 reasons.  Many mature trees will be removed (hopefully Council will insist that a mature Palm on the site is relocated).  The proposed development does not appear to leave any room for replacement tree planting as it seems to want to occupy all the land with the buildings & rely on the park for green space.  The DA is expected to be before Council sometime in April.

Save Hoskins Park has an active petition that I am told is heading towards 1,000 signatures.  The group can be contacted via their Face Book page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Hoskins-Park/321996854627

3.        Volunteers are needed to help local community environment regeneration group Marrickville Bush Pockets for the following dates:

  • Friday 26 March 5.30-7.30pm – barbeque afterwards
  • Saturday 10 April – 9am – 12 pm
  • Sunday 23 May – 9am – 12pm
  • Saturday 19 June – 9am – 12 pm

See http://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/29th-december-09-beauty-the-beast/ to see a recent project.  Contact details are available on the Community WHAT’S

One of the 2 houses in Piggot St which are to be demolished for the DA next to Hoskins Park. It’s gorgeous from the outside. This would not be allowed in Haberfield as they are protecting their heritage.

ON page of this site.

4.             The Wentworth Courier reported that Presbyterian Aged Care NSW plans a major development at the Scottish Hospital in Paddington.  They plan to retain the heritage-listed trees as well as restore the 1848 house & the terraced gardens.  This is good development as it preserves the history & the landscaping. http://wentworth-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/hospital-redevelopment-called-in-by-state-government/

5.        The Cumberland Courier reported of a dead/dying/nearly dead 45 metre Gum street tree in Lindfield & how a resident’s 6 phone calls to Ku-ring-gai Council asking for the tree to be removed were unsuccessful, until she went public in the North Shore Times newspaper. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/ruth-s-six-requests-over-three-months-to-remove-danger-tree/

6.         Not local, but good reading anyway from the Marshfield Mail which concerns the question & answer session during a Marshfield Council meeting (St Louis USA) where the Mayor, who was totally against the city watering newly planted trees, accidentally sided with the yes vote. http://www.marshfieldmail.com/articles/2010/03/17/news/doc4ba12c5f7ca8a795218253.txt

7.        Back to local Council news – the Inner West Courier updated the drama unfolding regarding Strathfield Councillor Lim & alleged breaches of conduct as well as making 17,217 photocopies (not a typo) between October 2009 to January 2010 – http://inner-west-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/they-re-out-to-get-me-lim/

8.        The Inner West Courier reported that many hundreds of fish were found dead in Hawthorne Canal on the boarder of Leichhardt & Haberfield. http://inner-west-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/eyes-pop-as-fish-die/

verge gardening-looks prettier than in the photo

FOR THOSE ON THE MAILING LIST of Saving Our Trees – did you receive an e-mail from me regarding the street trees in Ivanhoe Street Marrickville South sent 22nd February 2010?

I have been told of problems receiving this e-mail.  I can only conclude that some computers are deciding e-mails from SoT are spam because the e-mail was a broadcast to a large number of recipients.  Individual e-mails sent since from my gmail account have also failed.

If you are on the mailing list & did not receive an e-mail from me, can you let me know please. If you want to be on the mailing list & receive information when a tree is up for removal, I would be pleased to hear from you as well.  savingourtrees@gmail.com

A quick dose of news from the Cumberland Courier that concerns us all, especially in light of recent Council decisions concerning rates.  The Australian Energy Regulator is thinking about increasing charges for the replacement & maintenance of streetlights.    This is undoubtedly going to affect Marrickville Council in a big way if Energy Australia goes ahead with this as the costs are massive.  http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/streetlight-costs-look-set-to-soar/

I forgot to add this when I posted last night.  The Cumberland Courier reported that 3 Fairfield City Council councillors have been ordered by an independent conduct reviewer to apologise to their colleagues.  Fairfield Council was also advised to provide training on code of conduct during council meetings.  http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/sorry-day-looms-for-councillors/

Then I discovered these articles about local councils today.  The Inner West Courier obtained confidential documents about alleged breaches of the code of conduct by Councillors during Strathfield Council meetings. http://inner-west-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/details-of-code-of-conduct-investigations-revealed/

The Inner West Courier also reported that the GM of Burwood Council is undergoing an ICAC hearing in relation to corrupt conduct. http://inner-west-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/burwood-council-tells-general-manager-not-to-come-back-until-icac-results/

Lastly, I found a stinging post from a resident on Street Corner about the goings-on during a Liverpool Council meeting in February 2010. http://www.streetcorner.com.au/news/showPost.cfm?bid=13566

It was a very quiet meeting last night.  Councillors Kontellis, Thanos & Hanna were absent & Mayor Iskandar & Clr Tsardoulias had to leave for other engagements around half way through the agenda.  The following is how I understood the meeting.  All mistakes are mine.

First up was quest speaker Cathy Lloyd, London Co-ordinator & Director of Open Bethlehem which is trying to save Bethlehem by encouraging interfaith dialogue, peaceful cooperation & harmony.  She said only 15% of Bethlehem residents are Christian & if relations between religious groups do not improve, it is likely that the Christian churches in Bethlehem will be museums within a few years.  She will speak at St Luke’s Church in Enmore this Thursday night.

Then on to the Land Use, Assets & Corporate Committee Meeting.

South Ward Local Area Traffic: Marrickville Council’s report recommended 24 points & a few residents came to speak about various points in the report.

Traffic on Warren Road Marrickville South: one resident spoke against & 2 spoke for the recommendations.

The ‘for’ arguments were about the size of trucks using the streets with particular reference to the 19 metre trucks currently used by Woolworths, saying they were too long for the local streets, caused traffic grid-lock, road rage incidents, frequent property damage, increased the risk of accidents & lowered pedestrian safety amongst other issues.  They agreed Warren Road should be made one-way from Carrington to Illawarra Road & wanted traffic to be allowed to turn right from Renwick into Illawarra Road to stop a large percentage of traffic leaving Woolworths being forced to travel around the block to go west & north.

The ‘against’ argument reminded of past experience when roads were made one-way which resulted in significant traffic increases & also expressed concern that other residential streets would get more traffic as a result of Warren Rd & Schwebel Street being made one-way.  Mayor Iskandar & Clr Tsardoulias supported this fear.

Clr Macri suggested a 12 month trial to see if the one-way option worked, but a council staff member advised this wouldn’t be a good idea because if the trial was unsuccessful, the residents would not like losing their parking rights again.  Clr Marcri also said Woolworths needed to act responsibly & suggested council erect ‘concrete tank traps’ to stop damage by trucks to council property.

Clr O’Sullivan said 75% of Warren Road residents said they wanted Warren to become one-way with parking returned to them & 50% of Schwebell Street residents supported one-way for their street.

The outcome is the report will be open for community consultation soon before a final decision is voted upon.

Road closure in Wilford Lane Newtown:  One resident spoke, but I was not in the Gallery during this discussion.  The outcome was the issue was to return to the Traffic Committee.

Proposed Metro Bus service from Sydenham to Spit Junction in Mosman: A representative from the NSW State Transit Authority spoke about the proposed service saying buses will be the low to the ground, 19 metre ‘bendy-buses,’ air conditioned & wheelchair accessible.  After listing all the pluses of which there

Just to lighten up this post a little, here is a photo of Roundup madness

are many, he then said that Council would be expected to pay for all new signage, the relocation of other signage & a loading zone.  If Council didn’t agree to this, then State Transit may have to think seriously about NOT instigating this service or continuing to provide other bus services.

Sounded very much to me like Council was being held to ransom & Clr O’Sullivan used these exact words a few minutes later.

The cost of the signage is $9,000, which doesn’t seem much, but Marrickville Council is poor & this money will have to be taken away from essential works in the locality. Clr Phillips said with rates pegged at 2.6%, it was going to be very difficult for council to look after services & the state government should pay for the required signage.  This was supported by Clrs Byrne & O’Sullivan.  Clr Byrne said that currently only 17% of routes are accessible routes & only 18% of the buses were accessible.  Clr Macri said it was disappointing that this amount of money was being debated & the community would be prepared to pay for such a bus service.  The motion was carried.

Marrickville Local Environment Plan Update: Clr Phillips was disturbed that the Department of Planning did not want to include the McGill Street Masterplan rezoning in the LEP until Part 3A is settled “which this council is against.” Clr Byrne was concerned that Department of Planning wanted to remove ‘accessibility’ from the LEP.  The LEP will return at a later date.

Duration of council meetings:  All Councillors & the new GM thought meetings were too long.  It was noted that meetings run late when DAs are being decided upon & when many residents want to speak.  It was decided meetings will aim to finish by 10.30pm with a half hour extension if required & that Councillors could use responsibility & discipline & limit their need to speak, especially if others have said the same thing.

Government Information (Public Access) Act: This was about Freedom of Information applications, meaning what information you & I can get hold of.  One person has requested a recording of a council meeting & was supplied with the same.  Marrickville Council keeps audio recordings of their meetings for 3 months after they are approved, so you mustn’t delay if you want one.  You could apply for a transcript, but I have no idea how long they keep these.  However, the written word loses all other nuances that are clear with recordings.

Finally a recision motion was accepted to put mobility parking space outside a residential home in Newtown.  It had previously been declined, but new information regarding the level of disability was submitted.  9pm & the committee meeting was over.

In other council news of late, The Cumberland Courier published an article about Strathfield Councillor Danny Lim, including breach of code of conduct findings against him. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/in-spotlight-for-wrong-reasons/

Next, also from The Cumberland Courier, Camden Council finances are in surplus largely due to development. I wonder whether Marrickville Council is hoping for similar with Section 94 money helping their financial position to become viable. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/development-surge-boosts-camden-council-s-coffers/

The Manly Daily asked “Is Warringah Council back on track?” with an article addressing poor behaviour by Councillors & long meetings with one where the agenda was not completed. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/warringah-councillors-try-to-get-with-agenda/

Lastly, another from the Cumberland Courier concerning Backpackers clogging Sydney’s local streets with their vehicles many up for sale.  Something to think about with the proposed DA for a 132 bed Backpackers in Addison Road Enmore with 7 parking spaces.  See Report from the Gallery – 2nd March 2010. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/backpacker-car-yards-on-our-streets/

Marrickville Council is currently building a large swale on Thornley Street, Marrickville South.  It is located at the bottom of the series of parks that descend  the hill at The Warren.  It’s a big swale & I think it is going to be very beautiful. There has done some fabulous landscaping done around here over the last few years.  It’s also going to be great for local wildlife & I bet the frogs move in within days.

Building the swale in Thornley Street

A different type of swale, which is amazingly simple as well as very good-looking is happening in Portland USA.  I continue to be very impressed with this city’s approach to public trees & other green infrastructure.  The picture below has come directly from http://friendsoftrees.org/blog/2010/03/04/next-generation-street-trees-live-in-swales/

brilliant swales in Portland USA

The Cumberland Courier reported on a massive swale built in Cheltenham by Hornsby Council.  It’s well worth a look.   http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/stormwater-treatment-system-takes-root/

Moving away from swales to planter boxes with a difference, I found something truly fabulous happening in Hatertseweg, Netherlands.  The council had built a huge underground planter box that was going to ensure no tree messed with the foundations of a building ever again.  Great stuff.  http://jim-labbe.travellerspoint.com/21/

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