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There are lots of significant trees in Camperdown Park.  You can just see on the bottom left an attractive wooden raised walkway installed by Marrickville Council to protect the roots and the ground around the tree from compaction.

I received the following email from a local resident, which was sent to Inner West Council.  The email is about adding a Significant Tree Register to the upcoming Tree DCP Amendment.

From Council’s ‘Your Say’Inner West’ –Inner West Council has resolved to undertake a review of the Development Control Plan (DCP) controls relating to trees. Council’s three tree DCPs (from the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Leichhardt Councils) regulate the management of trees on private land and set out controls for determining tree pruning and removals via Permit Applications and Development Applications.”

 ________

Re: Tree DCP Amendment

To establish a Significant Tree Register to protect and celebrate our local heritage.

What is a significant tree?

“Significant trees are integral components of an ever-changing landscape through their dynamic cycle of growth, maturity, ageing, senescence and renewal. 

They reflect the patterns and processes which have shaped our natural and urban environments over time. They may represent the last vestiges of former natural or cultural landscapes – symbols of our environmental, social and economic histories. Significant trees are inextricably linked to the quality and identity of ‘place’.

Significant trees retain exceptional values in terms of their contribution to our environment. They have a recognisable range of heritage values – natural, cultural, scientific, aesthetic, visual, social, spiritual and commemorative. These trees can be symbols of great spiritual power. They may have associations with individual people and communities or tell stories of other times and places, or the historic development of a place, trade routes, connections and communications.” ~ Noel Ruting, Director of LandArc

Many councils in Sydney have a Significant Tree Register.  Blacktown City Council, at its ordinary meeting of 30th January 1985, resolved that a Register of Significant Trees be established in recognition of the need to preserve and enhance the unique qualities of the Blacktown Local Government Area (LGA), particularly those contributing to its rich environmental heritage.

That’s right.  33 years ago! 

On the 22nd October 2009, the Saving Our Trees blog asked Marrickville Council to establish a Significant Tree Register.

https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/22nd-october-09-we-need-a-significant-tree-register/

 9 years on we are still waiting………..

Why are we still waiting? Why doesn’t the Inner West Council recognise the importance of trees with unique historic, cultural or botanical values by establishing a Significant Tree Register?

The City of Sydney Significant Tree Register has a total of 2,674 trees from 157 properties are listed in the latest Register of Significant Trees.   These trees were selected on the basis of their historical, cultural, social, ecological or outstanding visual and aesthetic appeal.

Can we please protect our significant trees before they are lost forever?

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~ Warren Buffett

“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

“The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, ‘In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!’ “. ~ John F. Kennedy

I also believe we have no time to lose, so can you please support a Significant Tree Register and add this to the Tree DCP Amendment.”

_____

I could not agree more.  With development happening at a rapid rate, we are losing many trees.  A few of these may be very important trees, but we, the community, do not know.   We need to protect significant trees.  The Inner West Council needs to take our urban forest seriously & not delay adding a Significant Tree Register (for both public & private trees) to this upcoming DCP Amendment.

It does not matter that significant trees are protected under current DCPs.  What matters is there is no public declaration of significant trees in the area.  It is about knowing about the existence of significant trees.

Why would other local councils have a Significant Tree Register if there was no reason for doing so?  Significant trees are an essential part of a localities history & the community want to know about them.

Other local councils are being much more proactive regarding protecting & celebrating important trees in their locality.   The Inner West Council needs to get with the times & take this small step forward. The community will respect them for doing this.

You can participate in community consultation on the Have Your Say website here –https://bit.ly/2MqzrQG

The deadline is this coming Friday 14thSeptember 2018.  Participating will not take long. 

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Google map of Marrickville Golf Course. Mahoney Reserve is at the bottom right of the map. 

A view of Marrickville Golf Course from across the Cooks River

This is important community consultation & something we should all participate in even if we are not a golfer.  As our area gets more developed, places like this & the Golf Club’s activities are going to become even more important for the community.

The Inner West Council is developing a new Plan of Management & landscape Master Plans for the Marrickville Golf Course & the Dibble Avenue Waterhole, which will decide the future use & facilities over the next 10-years.  It must be easier for Council to do things over a ten-year period, but for me, I worry about this length of time because our community & area is changing so rapidly.

Marrickville Golf Course covers 20-hectares, most of which is owned by the Inner West Council.  The Marrickville Golf Club leases the land from Council.  A condition of the lease is that they provide public access to the open spaces of the golf course.

There are many in the community that avail themselves of walking or cycling through the golf course because it is one of the best natural areas in the locality, especially as it runs alongside the Cooks River.   Apart from the main road in & the path to the bridge over the river, there is no concrete & this makes it a great place to walk.

This won’t last for too long though because as part of their ‘Cooks River Parklands Plan of Management & Master Plan’ that was ratified in 2016, Council wants to install a new pedestrian crossing on Illawarra Road from Steel Park to a new 3-metre wide concrete shared pathway along the river’s edge in Mahoiney Reserve after they have completed naturalization work on the river bank. The first stage will stop at the golf course, but Council would like to connect this path to the bridge over the Cooks River in Marrickville Golf Course.  This is despite the 3-metre shared pathway just across on the other side of the river.

The Dibble Avenue Waterhole is heritage listed & is also a Priority Biodiversity Site.  It is an important refuge for wildlife & aquatic plants.

Marrickville Golf Club uses water from the Dibble Avenue Waterhole to irrigate the golf course & has done so since the 1940s.

Council says that the development of the plans provides opportunities to introduce best practice sustainable land & environmental management for both sites.”

“The process will look at –

  • ways to improve safe public access to the golf course.
  • ways to increase everyone’s enjoyment of the spaces.
  • alternative water sources for the golf course.
  • acceptable limits on water extraction[from Dibble Avenue Waterhole] into the future.”

Council is holding onsite opportunities for the community to learn more & give Council feedback at two locations.

  1. Marrickville Golf Club Carpark on Saturday 2ndJune 2018 from 1pm-3pm.
  2. Mahoney Reserve beside the Amenities Block on Saturday, 16thJune 2018 from 1pm-3pm.

If you don’t want to attend either of these sessions, you can still participate by completing a survey on Your Say Inner West by Monday 25thJune 2018.  See – https://bit.ly/2LtnPNQ

Lastly, there is no mention in the survey of Council’s plans to halve the Marrickville Golf Course from 18 holes to 9 holes to make room for more sporting fields.  See –  https://bit.ly/2GRxf28    

Dibble Avenue Waterhole – a biodiversity hotspot & returned to being one of Marrickville’s really beautiful historic places. There is a microbat box on the pier on the left.

Showing the row of palm trees opposite the pool.  Note the gum tree closest to the right. Is this another indication that the palms will be removed?  I love gum trees, but once they drop a branch, many in the community demand the offending tree be removed because they are seen as dangerous.

Showing one of the paths being worked on.

Inner West Council has given notice of their intention to remove 5 “small trees adjacent to paths to be reconstructed this financial year.”

They gave the following reasons –

  • “The two figs are in very poor condition & have not improved over the last ten years.
  • The two water gums are impacted with the pathway reconstruction & widening.
  • The palm tree in the central rondel to allow for a larger canopy tree to be planted & enhance the views along the path axes.”

They say they will replace these trees this year between April to June 2018 with-

  • 1 × Ficus rubiginosa (1000L)
  • 1 × Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Rotundiloba’ (300L)
  • 1 × Eucalyptus pilularis (75L)
  • 1 × Ficus macrophylla (100L)

I went to have a look at the trees a couple of weekends ago & as far as I could make out, they had all been removed.  The areas where work was happening had been fenced off with cyclone fencing & shade cloth making it hard to see what was happening. The only tree I could identify with confidence was the palm in the central rondel & that had already been removed.

Prior to amalgamation Marrickville Council used to give 3-weeks for community consultation concerning tree removal.  I suspect now the new Inner West Council puts up notification as they start work or very close to the commencement of work.  I am not sure yet.  Certainly, the way they now do community consultation has changed.  They no longer give a period of notification with a deadline to contact the Council.

Two trees are being removed to widen the path.  I do not know whether the trees were located on one side of the path or one tree on each side.  Council does not say where all, but one tree is located.

It is worth thinking that all the paths have been like they were in 1943.  See an aerial map of Enmore Park taken in 1943 on Marrickville Heritage Society’s blog.  See – https://bit.ly/2rwAczp,   Why does Council need to widen the paths that have been this way for at least more than 7 decades?   The paths are certainly wide enough to give equal access.

The last time Council removed trees in Enmore Park was in October 2013 where they removed 15 trees, most of them old Moreton Bay & Port Jackson Fig trees.   See – https://bit.ly/2rvDNh0

One big Fig was removed from the corner of Llewellyn Street & Enmore Road & its trunk is still rotting slowly away in Steel Park Marrickville South.  If I am correct & the two Fig trees to be removed are in the same location, it will mean the corner will be bare indeed.

I have reservations about removing very old heritage trees even if they are in poor condition.  My reasons are that trees can be helped to recover, whereas our public trees do not get much help in terms of nutrients.  They get by with whatever rainfall they can get & nothing else.

Enmore Park is heritage-listed.  It was the first park to be established in Marrickville municipality, opening in two sections in May 1886 & on October 1893.  The Fig trees were likely planted at this time & therefore are heritage items too.

I think efforts could have been made to take care of them.  However, if Council has been making efforts to improve their health by providing them with water & nutrients, then I will retract these comments & admit my error.

Looking at fig trees in Petersham Park I can see the some are in declining health, but these trees still stand proud & everyone who sees them loves them.  I suspect it is the same for the Fig trees in Enmore Park as well.

I felt sad to see the big healthy palm tree in the central rondel had been removed for what appears to be Council’s design preference & not because the tree was sick, dangerous or inappropriate for the location.

To me removing this tree does not make sense considering this tree matched all the other palm trees that run both side of the pathway from Enmore Road to the central rondel & then only on one side due to the building of the pool, which resulted in a loss of more than 50 trees.  If you look down this row of trees, they take your eye onwards up Addison Road.

To replace with a “larger canopy tree”interrupts these two rows of palm trees, which are a strong feature of this park.  I hope the removal of this central palm does not indicate a future plan to remove all the palms.

Lastly Council removing 5 trees & replacing with only 4 trees is very disappointing.

Central rondel with stump of palm tree

Showing the central rondel without the palm tree and the row of palm trees that take the eye to Addison Road.

 

The tree to be removed.

Inner West Council – Marrickville have given notice that they intend to remove a Small-leafed peppermint (Eucalyptus nicholii) outside 80 Denison Road Dulwich Hill.

They give the following reasons –

  • “The tree is in poor structural condition, has recently suffered a significant branch failure and exhibits extensive stem decay which cannot be mitigated by pruning.
  • The tree in its current state presents an unacceptable risk to the public and property.”

Council say they will replace with a Yellow bloodwood (Corymbia eximia) in the 2018 planting season.

There was no Notification of Removal on the tree.

Yellow bloodwood is an Australian native with a round canopy that grows to 10-metres. It has scaly yellow-brown bark & broad, thick, curved, blueish-green leaves.  In spring, it produces large clusters of creamy flowers in clusters, which attract birds & insects.  Nice choice.

Small leaf Peppermint up for removal

Brittle gum to be removed. The canopy of the tree behind makes this tree look fuller and healthier than it is. 

Inner West Council – Marrickville has given notice dated 10 January 2018 that they intend to remove two street trees.

Tree number 1:  A Brittle gum (Eucalyptus mannifera) outside 41 Stafford Street Stanmore.

They give the following reasons –

  • “Tree is in decline with significant decay and deadwood which cannot be mitigated by pruning.
  • The tree in its current state presents an unacceptable risk to the public and property.”

Council says they will replace with a Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma), but not when they will do this.

Tree number 2:  A Brittle Gum (Eucalyptus mannifera) adjacent to 50 Railway Avenue Stanmore.

They give the following reasons –

  • “Tree is in decline with significant decay and deadwood which cannot be mitigated by pruning.
  • The tree in its current state presents an unacceptable risk to the public and property.”

Council says they will replace this with two Scribbly Gum trees (Eucalyptus haemastoma), but not when they will do this.

It’s good that two trees are being replaced for one tree removed & also good that these are big tall Australian native trees that will provide habitat & food for wildlife.  Stanmore is lucky with all their big trees & these trees will continue on with this theme.

A screenshot of the Brittle gums. I am fairly sure the tree closest to the edge of the caravan is the one that is to be removed.  I saw no signage.

A view of The Greenway filled with Hills Fig trees and an almost continuous canopy. Very special.

Community consultation on site about the Inner West Council’s Masterplan for the 5.8km Greenway corridor.  There are two events locally, both for this coming Saturday.

WHERE:        Jack Shanahan Reserve at Hercules Street Dulwich Hill.
DATE:            Saturday 11 November 2017

TIME:             10am to 12pm

WHERE:        Hoskins Park at Pigott Street Dulwich Hill
WHEN:          Saturday 11 November 2017

TIME:             2pm to 4pm

Currently the Greenway starts at Grosvenor Crescent Lewisham & the shared pedestrian/bicycle path takes you all the way to the Parramatta River at the border of Haberfield & Leichhardt with the Hawthorn Canal dividing them.  It’s a lovely place in my opinion & a much needed haven for wildlife. I am very glad it is being completed.   I’ve written about the Greenway here – http://bit.ly/1l9FvAf

From Have Your Say website – “The NSW Government and the new Inner West Council have announced a joint commitment of $14.5 million towards the cost of completing the GreenWay missing links. This will unlock approximately 3ha of open space not currently accessible to the community.”

The missing links will open the Greenway to the public from Lewisham all the way to the Cooks River beside Wardell Road Earlwood.  This will result in an off-road path from Earlwood to Leichhardt – safer for cyclists and pedestrians alike.

Three hectares of linear open space is not to be scoffed at considering how poor the levels of green space is in the former Marrickville municipality area.  The Greenway is one of the few places locally where the tree canopy is consistent & reaches over my head.  It is the only one off road.   Hopefully, Inner West Council will plant big canopy trees & tall trees along the new section to create the same effect where trees create a buffer from the urban surroundings.  Let the Greenway truly be green.

You can also participate in community consultation online at – http://www.yoursayinnerwest.com.au/greenway

A section of Landing Lights Wetland.

Today is an excellent day!  I came home to a letter from Bayside Council in response to my submission opposing the 100-hectare development application for Barton Park & Landing Lights Wetland.

Developer John Boyd Properties wanted to build 5,000 new high-rise dwellings in what is currently the Kogarah Golf Course.  They would rebuild the golf course in the wetlands & add a sweetener of a new St George Stadium sports stadium.  Part of the heritage listed & fully functioning Arncliffe Market Gardens was to be claimed for the development as well.

The letter said – “Please be advised that the applicant has decided not to proceed with the development & accordingly the application has now been withdrawn.”

How wonderful is that!  The migratory birds that fly all the way from Siberia say thanks.  The Green & Gold frog say thanks.  All the numerous other birds, animals & insects that call this remnant wetland home say thanks as well.   If the community sat back & did nothing, I expect this development would have gone through, but they did not.

Thank you to all who opposed this development application.  Now there is a chance that this vitally important part of Botany Bay can be left for the wildlife & for the many in the community who enjoy spending time in such undeveloped areas bursting with nature.  To keep this precious area is so wonderful.

Bayside Council wrote the following on their website –

  • “Although highly urbanised, the City has retained several small bushland and wetland areas which play an important role in terms of providing food, habitat and shelter for native animals. These areas are deemed to have ‘conservation value’ (meaning they are worth preserving for future generations) because they represent ecosystems that would otherwise be lost.”
  • “These remaining natural areas are home to particularly diverse, endangered and/or vulnerable species of flora and fauna.  A total of 180 native plant species and over 90 vertebrate species of terrestrial animals (not including marine fish) have been identified in the City’s bushland and wetlands.”
  • “Landing Lights Wetland (also known as Riverine Park Wetlands), located at Spring Street, Banksia is one of Council’s most environmentally significant natural areas. The site contains some of the last remaining saline wetlands on the Cooks River and includes vegetation identified as threatened under NSW legislation (salt-marsh).”
  • “The wetlands have aesthetic, heritage and environmental value. They form part of a system of tidal and freshwater swamps, and provide important habitats for a variety of animal and plant species, including common wetland birds and a number of protected migratory birds.”

I last wrote about this development application here – http://bit.ly/2jey4Xi

Letter regarding the Cook Cove Precinct DA

 

The tree for removal has a blue sign on the trunk.  It is unaffected by power lines.

The Inner West Council has given notice of their intention to remove a Spotted gum (Corymbia maculata) outside 7 Hilltop Avenue Marrickville dated 7 October 2017.

They give the following reasons –

  • “The tree is structurally compromised & has multiple trunk defects. These defects will increase size as the tree matures & further impact the sustainability of the tree.
  • The tree in its current state presents an unacceptable risk to the public & property.”

The trunk defeats are easy to see.  It is a shame that this tree needs to be removed.

Council says they will replace with 2 x advanced-sized Coastal Banksias (banksia integrifolia), but not when they will do this.

Replacing two for one tree is great & I thank Council for this.  Small changes like this will build on our urban forest.

Coastal Banksia is native to the east coast of Australia.  It will reach heights between 4-15 metres & produces flowers from late summer to winter.  It is a food source for nectar-eating birds, seed-eating birds, insects & possums.

No deadline for submissions was given, but up to now it has always been 3-weeks from notification.  If you have something to say contact the Tree Manager.

Showing the “trunk defects.”

 

 

Darley Street Playground. The 3 trees for removal have blue signs on them and are on the right of this photo.

A new Inner West Council & now a new way of putting up tree removal notifications or is this just a one off?

Council’s Notice of Removal now starts with a date – presumably the date they put the notice on their website.  The Notice of Removal includes no information about the deadline for submissions.  It does give reasons why the tree/s are up for removal & what they will replace with, but no information as to when the replacement trees will be planted.  Neither is there any invitation to contact the Tree Manager to discuss, as was the norm previously.  These are significant changes & not much about consultation.

Council have given notice of their intention to remove 3 x Grey gums (Eucalyptus punctata) in the Darley Street Playground, Darley Street Newtown dated 26th September 2017.

They give the following reasons –

  • “3 trees are proposed for removal.
  • One tree is dead & the other two have significantly declined in health, & their structural integrity has been compromised.
  • The trees present an unacceptable risk to the public & property.”

There are 4 Grey gums in this small playground.  All trees have been severely pruned when young & all have grown into what I consider a long trunk with a lollipop canopy.  Two of the trees lean towards a neighbouring house.

Council says they will replace with  –

  • An advanced-sized Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) &
  • An advanced-sized Sydney Red Gum (angophora costata).

The Illawarra flame tree is a deciduous tree native to coastal rainforests from central NSW to far north Queensland.  It develops clusters of red bell shaped flowers spring-summer.  They may not flower every year, but when they do they can look spectacular.  The flame tree is regarded as a small to medium-sized tree, though in perfect growing conditions can reach 35-metres in height.  Nectar-eating wildlife love this tree when in flower & so do most Sydney-siders.

The Sydney red gum is native to the Sydney Basin & along the NSW coast.  They can reach approximately 25-meters in height.  The bark is a lovely salmon/pink that gradually turns grey.  It produced large bunches of white flowers over the summer months, which is good food for nectar-eating wildlife.  It grows well on rocky outcrops & can develop a gnarled & twisted appearance, which is much loved by many.

I think these are great choices for this playground & will add much in the way of beauty to this space.

Another of Council’s changes is the Notification of Removal signs on the trees.  These are a great improvement on what was used previously.  They are easy to read & provide good information to the community.  I thank Council for this.  I also thank Council for continuing to use sticky tape to attach the signs to the trees.

No deadline for submissions was given, but up to now it has always been 3-weeks, so if you have something to say, contact the Tree Manager at Council.

Screenshot of Marrickville Station taken from Sydney Metro website..  

With 4-weeks to go before submissions close for The Sydney Metro Sydenham to Bankstown rail line, the Environmental Impact Statement has been released.

Sydney Metro are holding community information sessions to help the community understand this mammoth document.  Members of the project team will be available to answer  questions.

MARRICKVILLE

  • Thursday 19th October: 3- 7pm at Marrickville Town Hall.

HURLSTONE PARK

  • Wednesday 11th October: 3 – 7pm at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL, 20-26 Canterbury Road Hurlstone Park.
  • Saturday 28th October: 10am – 2pm at Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL.

You can view & download the Environmental Impact Statement at – www.majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au & at  www.sydneymetro.info

The deadline for submissions is 8th November 2017.

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