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One of the very sweet Bandicoot scuptures at the entrance on Davis Street. This is a very classy way to raise consciousness about the environment.

One of the very sweet Long-nosed Bandicoot sculptures at the entrance on Davis Street. This is a classy way to raise consciousness about the environment.         30th August 2015 – I’ve found out that the artist’s name is Ochre Lawson.  See more of her work at – ochrelawsonart.com

More art on the back wall of the Station building. Very nice & again, a wonderful & beautiful way to connect people to their environment

More art on the back wall of the Station building. Very nice & again, a beautiful way to connect people to their environment. The Greenway is visible helping to maintain connection with the environment.

The entrance from Davis Street with the Greenway on either side.

The entrance from Davis Street with the Greenway on either side.  I was impressed with the beauty.  This is a lovely way to travel.

Recently while looking at a street tree to be removed in Davis Street Dulwich Hill I came across Waratah Mills Light Rail Station.  I think it may be the greenest leafiest railway station in Marrickville LGA.   I cannot say for sure because I have not been to all of them, but I will.

I entered from the cul-de-sac of Davis Street, which in itself is a very pretty area.  One side of Davis Street has tiered garden areas, hedges & a number of very tall trees.  Houses are on the other side & beautiful heritage Hoskins Park is across the road.  The entrance to the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station is subtle. I had no idea it was there until I was actually in the street.

The whole sculpture. I thought this was stunning,

The whole sculpture. I thought this was stunning,

There is a large attractive concrete & wood slat bench at the entrance.  On & below the bench are two small life-size sculptures of Long-nosed Bandicoots, which live in the habitat along the light rail line (called the Greenway). Long-nosed Bandicoots are critically endangered in the Inner West, so The Greenway is of extreme importance.  The sculptures are very beautiful & are a perfect example of using art as an educator.  I was impressed.  These would be a delightful sight to see on the daily commute to & from work.

Credit goes to the Inner West Environment Group & to Railcorp for creating such a beautiful area in & around the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station.

To enter the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station from Davis Street you walk along a 15-20 metre raised metal bridge.  On either side are small areas of really lovely bush.  There are lots of trees & even a nesting box is visible offering passive education about the importance of homes for wildlife.

I saw people leave the train & then lean against the railing looking at the bush for a few minutes. This must be a pleasant way to end a working day.

The Greenway volunteers have done an awesome job here.  It is obvious how wonderful it would be to have bicycle & foot access along the whole corridor from the Cooks River to Iron Cove.  Hopefully, the state government will fund The Greenway soon.  This route is needed for safe travel for cyclists/pedestrians & the benefits to the community would be even greater still with this area a green corridor full of wildlife.

The actual light rail station is very attractive & clean. Railcorp has planted many trees & native plants around the station. They have also planted trees & created verge gardens at the entry in Weston Street. It looks terrific now & in a couple of years it will look even better.

The work to green the station & surrounds clearly shows what can be done with our streets & parks.  There have been numerous recent studies proving that green environments have a positive impact on the mental & physical health of the community.  Anyone who uses this mode of transport will benefit from the green environment & this has to be applauded.

The back walls of the station buildings have images of wildlife, which add beauty, as well as educate on the importance of wildlife.   I personally love any public art that encourages people to acknowledge & respect nature & think this approach to public art is underutilized in Marrickville LGA.

There were plenty of bike racks too. I also noticed the attractive bins. They were being used because I did not see one bit of litter.  Again this shows that people are respecting the natural environment that surrounds & is a part of this rail station.

Everything about the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station screams respect for the natural environment & the wildlife that lives there.  It is a great example of how trees, plants, even a small area of bush can enhance an area & make it a lovely peaceful place to be in.  The more our municipality is made greener with trees, verge gardens & traffic islands, the nicer it will look.  Personally, I think the days of concrete as a quick solution are over. More of this please.

View of the Greenway from the bridge. This is a nice place to be.

View of the Greenway from the bridge. This is a nice place to be.

The other view of the Greenway from the bridge. The Inner West Environment Group has created something wonderful for the wildlife & for the community.

The other view of the Greenway from the bridge. The Inner West Environment Group has created something wonderful for the wildlife & for the community.

Waratah Mills Light Rail Station. You can see some of the streetscape work in Weston Street.

Waratah Mills Light Rail Station. You can see some of the streetscape work in Weston Street.

Looking at the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station

Looking at the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station.

Native plants are everywhere around the Light Rail Station,

Native plants are everywhere around the Light Rail Station,

Even the area behind the Station building have been planted with trees & native plants.

Even the area behind the Station building have been planted with trees & native plants.

View of the tram from Jack Shannahan Park

View of the tram from Jack Shanahan Reserve

Thois garden abutting the park already looks good.  Imagine how it will be in 12 months.

This garden already looks good. Imagine how it will be in 12 months.

I saw Dulwich Hill Light Rail Interchange recently & what a great looking station it is. I was particularly impressed with the landscaping.

You can walk across the rail lines from Jack Shanahan Reserve, something I haven’t done since I was a kid.  On the side abutting the park is a very nice garden filled with flowering natives. There are some grasses, but these are not the dominant feature here.

Wheelchair access from Jack Shanahan Reserve

Wheelchair access is available from Jack Shanahan Reserve

Native grasses have been planted between the fence & the cliff beside the platform. This was a nice surprise as this is an area that could have been easily left out of any landscaping plans. Eventually, it would have been a place for litter, but now it looks cared for & is another area that will provide habitat for small creatures & insects.

I also like that the vegetation growing on the cliff face was retained. It provides a green backdrop & this adds to the attractiveness of the site.

The whole platform looked great. It has attractive lights, bins & seating. Even the artwork in the shelter looks happy.  From the platform you look over the trees & the park, which is also nice for commuters.

Dulwich Hill Light Rail Interchange is the last stop on the route from Central in Sydney’s CBD. The map tells me that there are five other Light Rail Stations in Marrickville LGA. They are Dulwich Grove, Arlington, Waratah Mills, Lewisham West & Taverner’s Hill.   I will eventually see the others.

I think most railway stations are ugly places, but this one is not.  Not only has the Light Rail added something beneficial to the community, but Railcorp has ensured that the station & surrounds are attractive & useful to wildlife.

View of the Light Rail platform with the garden.  Dulwich Hill Railway Station is visible in the distance.

View of the Light Rail platform with the garden. Dulwich Hill Railway Station is visible in the distance.

Behind the platform - a new area of habitat to help wildlife & add beauty.

Behind the platform – a new area of habitat to help wildlife & add beauty.

 

This is from the Marrickville Council's Development & Assessment Meeting papers & shows the Queenbeyan ex-Station Master's cottage & the one in Sydenham

This is from the Marrickville Council’s Development & Assessment Meeting papers & shows the Queenbeyan ex-Station Master’s cottage & the one in Sydenham

In January 2011 I posted about a Development Application submitted by Railcorp to Marrickville Council to demolish the Sydenham Station Master’s cottage, remove mature 21 trees & remediate the land at 117 Railway Road Sydenham.  http://bit.ly/Xai3TE

In April 2011 Marrickville Council recommended the Councillors refuse the application, “on the basis of a lack of information in relation to the heritage potential of the former station master’s cottage.” http://bit.ly/16hEzLg

In June 2011 Railcorp’s Development Application to demolish the Sydenham Station Master’s cottage went before the Sydney East Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP). The JRPP gave Railcorp one month to deliver a Heritage Report.  http://bit.ly/kZvDvW

I have just received a letter from Marrickville Council saying that at the latest meeting of the JRPP, Railcorp’s Development Application was approved – no mention of the Heritage Report.

So there you have it – a historically important building for Sydenham that looks incredibly similar to the lovely Station Master’s Cottage one station down at Tempe, except it has been left to decay, will be knocked down.  21 mature trees will also be removed.  To say this is a disappointment would be an understatement.  Perhaps the next DA will be for a 10 or 20-storey unit development?

Yesterday the Development Application to demolish the Sydenham Station Master’s cottage went before the Joint Regional Planning Panel.  Four residents & a representative from Marrickville Heritage Society spoke to the panel against Railcorp’s application arguing that the cottage was a significant part of Sydenham’s history & was no different in architectural design to a number of heritage-listed Station Master’s cottages around NSW that have been renovated & retained.  They also fought to save the 21 mature trees on the site.

The JRPP gave Railcorp one month to deliver a heritage (as opposed to structural) report.

A community member who attended the meeting said that the Solicitors for Railcorp argued that the DA was inappropriate for the JRPP & should have been decided by Marrickville Council.  Perhaps they are unaware that all Marrickville Councillors voted against demolishing the cottage saying, “the preservation of this building is fundamental.”

Sydenham lost many of its buildings for the Third Runway. To lose yet another public asset & 21 mature trees is something that the community strongly opposes.

I wrote about this previously – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/report-from-the-gallery-–-5th-april-2011-part-2/

The Station Master's cottage at Sydenham was last occupied in 2005.

The Tempe Station Master's cottage is heritage-listed.

This was the Development Assessment & Committee Meeting. The following is my understanding of the meeting & all mistakes are mine. Part 1 can be read here – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/report-from-the-gallery-–-5th-april-2011-part-1/

117 Railway Road Sydenham – Crown Development Application by Railcorp to demolish the former Station Master’s cottage, remove 21 trees & remediate the land.

1 man spoke in favour of the DA: My house was constructed 6 years ago. I have sympathy for Railcorp because of my problems. My house was built about 12 years later. It had white ants, damage problems, family had ill health because of rising damp. The house is pretty dilapidated. The crux of my concern is the ‘do nothing.’ What do you do if you do nothing?  The house is virtually unusable. A layer of soil was brought in which is standard today. It’s seriously contaminated land & trees have grown into that fill. There is no win/win on this. You are trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

2 local women spoke against approving the DA: There are loads of reasons why Sydenham residents oppose this DA. We are concerned with potential heritage considerations. Sydenham lost much of its heart & was literally gutted when the Third Runway was built, so we don’t have much heritage left. Railcorp could use the $450,000 to remove the asbestos & remediate the soil. We have cargo trains, planes, cars & now Marrickville Metro. We don’t need more parking congestion or noise pollution. We would like Railcorp to hear us loud & clear that they have let the cottage deteriorate.

There has been no actual physical consultation with the community by Railcorp, no offer to meet, no assurance of any compensation if any property damage occurs. We all have this soil problem. Just put  a layer of topsoil on over the top.  15 species of native birds live in these trees. The large trees provide a sound buffer from 6 railway tracks. We want the trees & the historical nature of the property retained. I have lived here since 1998. My son always had to be careful of the Station Master (living in the cottage). This house was last occupied in 2005.

A 314-signature petition from the Sydenham community to save the Station Master’s cottage was submitted to Council.

All Councillors were very supportive of retaining the Station Master’s Cottage saying the preservation of this building is fundamental. The new Marrickville LEP changed the zoning so that units could be built on the land, however it was felt that this property was overlooked. The asbestos is not a problem because the sheeting is intact. Neither Railcorp nor Marrickville Council have done a heritage assessment on the property. Many of the Councillors expressed that the property should be available for a business to allow public use.

There were 5 amendments. The Gallery was unable to read the screen so I think the following is to happen.  Representatives from Council & the community will try to meet with the Minister, Council will do a report on the heritage value of the property & Council will refer the DA to the JRPP recommending refusal. Council will write a report that supports retaining the cottage.   Because it is a Crown Development Application Council is unsure whether the community will be able to put in submissions to the JRPP.  The vote was unanimous.

This is from the Marrickville Council's Development Assessment & Committee Meeting papers & shows the Queenbeyan ex-Station Master's cottage & the one in Sydenham

Here is the Station Master's cottage at Tempe. Apart from being renovated, is there much difference in the designs? There is no doubt that this building is a historical asset to the community

Station Master's house in Sydenham has been left to decay

Re: the Development Application by Railcorp to demolish the Station Master’s house at Sydenham & remove 21 mature trees –

I have been informed that Marrickville Council has extended the period for objections from the community until this Friday 28th January 2011.

I’ve had a look at the property. The house has been left to decay, but it doesn’t look beyond repairing.  I had expected it to look in worse repair.  Many of the trees on the property are very large & there were lots of birds.

Railcorp’s DA says it will cost $450,000 to demolish everything & remediate the soil.  With that kind of money you could renovate & keep a piece of Sydenham’s history & have change left over.  Having looked at the gorgeous & very similar in design, renovated Station Master’s house at Tempe, I think it is imperative that both the Sydenham cottage & the trees are retained.  Please consider sending in a submission.  It can be a simple statement.  We cannot keep losing our historical houses & the trees that surround them at a rate of knots.

I last wrote about this DA here – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/railcorp-the-removal-of-21-mature-trees-in-sydenham/

The Station Master's house in Tempe looks very similar in design to the one in Sydenham

Showing some of the trees to be removed at the Station Master's house in Sydenham

I have just been told of a DA submitted by Railcorp to Marrickville Council to demolish the Station Master’s house, remove 21 trees & remediate the land at 117 Railway Road Sydenham.  I cannot see any indication in the papers of what Railcorp intends to use the land for once they have cleared it & done remediation of the soil.

Problem is the removal of a lovely old Station Master’s house which means another loss of the local area’s history as well as the removal of the 21 mature trees that are on the property.

The Development Application can be downloaded here – http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/edrawer/Files/959094468/TRIM_TR_REC_1226611.PDF

If you would like to see the property & the trees, Kass Finlay McAuliffe has created a fabulous YouTube video as part of her objection.  The video shows the large amount of birds & other insects, including Monarch butterflies that populate the site.  It’s well worth a look – http://www.youtube.com/user/kassmusic#p/a/u/0/L2FzYu2gcCg

Last year, St Vincent’s de Paul in Lewisham were given permission via a DA to remove a similar amount of trees from the front of their property.  After being told that Long-Nosed Bandicoots lived in this area & with help from WIRES, St Vincent’s de Paul agreed to keep a number of their trees. Perhaps Railcorp can do the same.

Does Railcorp really need to remove all the trees from this property?  How does the removal of so many mature trees on one site fit with Marrickville Council’s Diversity Policy?

The Development Application ID is DA201000599 & the applicant is Rail Corporation Of NSW.

Unfortunately, the deadline for objections is today. A simple submission can be emailed to Marrickville Council at – council@marrickville.nsw.gov.au Thank you.

Lovely clump of flowering Gymea Lilies at the gate of Tillman Park

Attracted by another group of flowering Gymea Lilies we ventured into Tillman Park for the first time. This is a gated & fenced park between Unwins Bridge Road & the railway line in Tempe.  There is an off-leash area for dogs & it is completely safe.  Marrickville Council have done a great job with the landscaping in my opinion. There is a great kids playground with equipment in good condition & many little places to play, sit & discover. There is even a gas bar-b-que & 2 wooden bridges.  Parking is good as well & it’s very close to Sydenham Railway Station.

Behind these trees is the goods line. This is a wonderful habitat for wildlife

The park is protected from the wind by the goods line.  Here is a great example of Railcorp doing great environmental work that benefits both the community & urban wildlife.  They have planted many trees along the railway line & the area would be a haven for birds & other animals. It’s fenced off to prevent dogs & people entering.

This is precisely what I would like to see done in the many spaces along Sydney’s railway lines.  If Railcorp did this they would be creating little bush reserves that would do much to help urban wildlife as well as creating beauty in places that are generally quite ugly. These regenerated areas would also improve air-quality & help mitigate global warming. Railcorp tend to do this kind of bush regeneration quietly & not many people know of their work.

This green space is like a secret garden.

There are around 20 other trees in this area & only one is imprisoned

Across the road is another place that is probably a well-kept secret by the locals with a long strip of trees, grass & plants along the goods line in what is really a back lane that goes from Unwins Bridge Road to the Princes Highway. Once you enter into the line of trees you could be anywhere. It’s cool & lovely & filled with birds.

There is one tree that is held in a cage that Council may have forgotten about as I guess it was planted more than 10 years ago.  The tree looks odd encased in a cage while every other tree lives free. I will write & ask Council if they will remove the cage.

This space is a great example of what can be done with a small-disused area. Generally, these spaces get left to grow long grass & they collect litter & other junk people dump.  There are many similar sites across Marrickville LGA that could easily be transformed into something like this. Judging by the plants, I would guess the locals are looking after the area & Council mows it.

This park has lots of variety. There are places to sit, places to play, places to run your dogs & picnic areas as well

Recently we visited Leamington Avenue Newtown & as we drove there we saw something fantastic.  Either NSW Rail Corp or City of Sydney Council has erected a concrete wall between the raised section of the railway line and the nearby houses, presumably as a sound barrier for the neighbourhood.  What makes this so fantastic is, it is not just a concrete wall or a decorated concrete wall, it’s a green wall.

Green wall along the rail line behind Leamington Avenue Newtown

At regular intervals, steel mesh going up 5-6 meters high has been attached along the wall & Chinese Jasmine is growing.  Not only does this make the wall look good, but the vines are designed to cut down the Heat Island Effect created by the sun bouncing off the concrete.  When the Chinese Jasmine flowers around Christmas it will look spectacular & smell great as well.

This is such a simple & cheap intervention, which begs the question, why this isn’t done elsewhere as the norm?

On 26th August 2010 a letter written by Clr Marcri was published in the Inner West Courier.  In this letter he said he wanted “to set the record straight in regard to my role in the approvals process for the Marrickville RSL site development.”

He went on to say “I think it is a landmark development that shows confidence in the future of Marrickville.” He said the development was approved both by Marrickville Council & the JRPP. He also said “Design is subjective,” going on to say that the development was designed by an award-winning architect.

Andrew Woodhouse, President of the Australian Heritage Institute wrote a reply that was published in the Inner West Courier on 2nd September 2010.  Mr Woodhouse wrote “It’s about time Clr Macri was told. He tries to sweep away design objections to the proposed bulbous Marrickville RSL saying design is of course subjective as though anyone’s views are valid but no-one’s view counts. He is wrong.”

Mr Woodhouse then wrote about various factors of measurable design excellence & said, “On all accounts this mega-project fails.” I agree.  My impression was that all those who spoke against the project at the JRPP Meeting were against the design aspects of this building & judging by the applause after every speaker so were the large group of local residents who attended. Why would the JRPP listen to the community when the development had been endorsed by Marrickville Council?

Marrickville ex-Councilor Colin Hesse, who attended the JRPP meeting was the first to write to the Inner West Courier about this development.  The letter was titled, ‘7 Storey Disaster.” He wrote “The approval of the massive 7 storey development of the old Marrickville RSL club has set a shocking precedent for Marrickville ..” He also mentioned “..genuine community participation  & is based on sustainability.”

It’s not my aim to go on about the development on the old Marrickville RSL site because it is going to happen & there is nothing we can do to prevent this.  What I do want to discuss is the information Clr Macri’s letter gave the community.

He said Marrickville Council approved this development & that “this building under the new LEP will be an underdevelopment. …“ Add these statements to his earlier statement of “… it is a landmark development that shows confidence in the future of Marrickville.” & it tells me that Marrickville Council fully intends to give the okay to many more developments that not only look like the development for the old Marrickville RSL site, but are as high, as dense & bulky as this is.  I am worried.

Clr Marcri also gives notice that the new Draft LEP about to be released for public consultation will not be making green buildings or green design mandatory.  I think this is very important when you consider that Marrickville, Illawarra & Petersham Roads will become between 6-9 storeys high with 13 storeys recommended for the old Marrickville Hospital site.

We have known Marrickville is going to change as well as other areas around the LGA, but designs that are compatible with the old pre-climate change/ pre-global warming paradigm is not something I am happy about.  When I see green walls for a railway line wall, yet the newest residential building declared a landmark & most likely used as a benchmark for future development has 180 air-conditioned units, not counting the retail space & 4 street trees along the Illawarra Road frontage & none for Byrnes Road I feel a little …..  When I remember the dismissive attitude to solar panels & a green roof during the JRPP meeting my blood starts to boil.

Another view of the green wall along the railway line in Newtown. It has made a back lane that was probably full of graffiti tags & rubbish look lovely

I’m a realist. I know Sydney as a whole is going to change. I read last year that the NSW state government wanted the industrial area next to Marrickville Metro to hold around 9,000 plus residences. Don’t quote me on this. I didn’t save the article & I cannot find anything about it now, though I know I didn’t dream it as I have spoken to a couple of others who also knew of this plan.

I was told that a recent application to have the area rezoned residential was unsuccessful.  I’ll predict here that this area will be rezoned residential one day in the not-too-distant future & I bet AMP Capital anticipate this, like the M6 planed someday for Edgeware Road just 1 block away.

High-rise residential is coming to Marrickville LGA & it will be dense & tall. Now that the world is talking about global warming & climate change wouldn’t you think that both the Council & the architects would make the shift to the new paradigm when designing new buildings meant to last the next 60-100 years?  If not, why not?  Why has Marrickville Council said any development for the old Marrickville Hospital site has to be a 6-star sustainability rating & yet they have not required this for any other high-rise residential building across the LGA.  I’m baffled.

The signage for the development at the old Marrickville RSL is, “The Revolution Begins.” We need our Council to ensure that the ‘Revolution’ follows the climate change paradigm that insists future developers create a true revolution by designing green buildings.

Green walls are not rocket science, yet their benefits are outstanding. Heat is not reflected thereby lowering the Heat Island Effect. They lengthen the life of concrete, they look good, they improve the streetscape & make ugly areas pretty, the prevent or significantly reduce graffiti & they are almost as good as trees in the benefits they bring. Psychologically they would do much to break down the oppressive feelings tall buildings can often bring.  Lastly, they are cheap to create.

You can read Clr Marci’s letter here – Opinion page 19 – http://digitaledition-innerwest.innerwestcourier.com.au/?iid=39854

You can read Andrew Woodhouse’s letter here – page 23 – http://digitaledition-innerwest.innerwestcourier.com.au/?iid=40124

You can read Colin Hesse’s letter here – page 17 – http://digitaledition-innerwest.innerwestcourier.com.au/?iid=39608

Music for Trees is a non-profit organisation & part of the UN’s Billion tree program, about which I have written in previous posts.  They are holding a free music event at Carriage Works Eveleigh this Saturday 17th July 2010. Playing will be Stiff Gins, Ray Mann, The Slowdowns, The Anon Anons & The Deroys.  $10 plants 50 trees. $200 starts a forest.  For information – http://www.musicfortrees.com/

Planet Ark has a competition for National Tree Day on 1st August 2010.  They are looking for the best tree tale.  The top stories will be added to their Australian Tree Stories campaign & the prize is a $1,000 green get-away.  This year’s National Tree Day, more than 2 million volunteers will plant 15 million native trees & shrubs.  I knew it could be done. treeday.planetark.org

Spring blossoms in winter

I was excited to read about a report commissioned by the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water. The report, Connectivity Conservation & the Great Eastern Ranges Corridor, recommends the establishment of a conservation corridor spanning 2,800 km along the Great Eastern Ranges from the Australian Alps in Victoria to the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland.

“To halt and reverse the biodiversity extinction crisis, we must counter the threats and reverse the trends. This means reconnecting habitat so native ecosystems don’t end up becoming isolated “islands”, buffering protected areas and protecting and restoring habitat on other land tenures.”

It’s a fantastic idea & will go a long way to helping wildlife. Hopefully it will also help the Koala who are seriously at risk of extinction from loss of habitat in Australia.

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/media/DecMedia10071402.htm

The Pew Environment Group did a recent study that found the area from the central west of NSW, up to Cape York, across the top end & down to the wheat belt in Western Australia, absorbs more than 9.5 billion tonnes of carbon. 

They say that if this area is managed properly, it could reduce carbon pollution by 5% by 2050, the equivalent of taking 7.5 a million cars off the road every year for the next 40 years.

Terrific changes seem to be happening in the way Australia is looking at the value & use of trees.  It will be wonderful to see land planted with trees & other plants rather than have the massive chain that pulls down everything in its path.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/14/2952894.htm

Researchers from the University of Sydney say all the world’s topsoil is set to vanish within 60-100 years “if current patterns do not change.” Current patterns mean;

  • overuse of plowing,
  • over-application of synthetic fertilizers,
  • poor erosion control &
  • unsustainable farming

In Australia, soil is being lost 5 times faster than it is regenerating through natural processes. In the United States, it is being lost 10 times faster. In Europe it is being lost 17 times faster, and in China, an astonishing 57 times faster.

Hopefully, farmers will take notice & the government will provide the funding to help them regenerate the natural vegetation without too much delay.

http://www.naturalnews.com/029176_topsoil_food_production.html

Lilly Pilly flower

I read 2 articles about Railcorp recently.  The first reported that Beecroft residents were furious at tree-lopping & removal at a site marked ‘environmentally sensitive’ along railway land near Beecroft Railway Station. It’s a shame because Gang Gang birds lived in those trees.

City Rail said, “The trees lopped were wattles which had become a safety hazard.  The trees we removed were predominantly wattles (Acacia) that had been planted by Railcorp around 10 years ago inside the rail corridor.” In response the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust employed a professional arborist to assess the tree removal. They found young Eucalypts & Acacias had been removed.

3 weeks later in an article about Railcorp’s plans to replant the stripped area, a RailCorp staff representative said, “the plants had to be removed because 95 per cent of them were noxious species.” Wattle a noxious species?  Railcorp intend to replant with native grasses & shrubs, but no trees.

Epping residents also complained that everything near the railway station has been stripped, including the grasses. Both communities complained about the lack of community consultation.  To my understanding, being government-owned land, they don’t need to notify the community. That the community expects that they do tells me that trees & habitat for urban wildlife are becoming important issues for the community.  I think this is a good thing.

http://northern-district-times.whereilive.com.au/news/story/visual-screen-felled-by-heavy-handed-city-rail-loppers-at-beecroft/

http://northern-district-times.whereilive.com.au/news/story/railcorp-workers-put-the-green-screen-back/

Lawrence Pope, the president of the Victorian Advocates for Animals wrote a fantastic letter to the Bendigo Advertiser about Grey-headed flying-foxes that I would love to post in full. Unfortunately copyright prevents me from doing so, but I sincerely hope that any readers who dislike bats, are afraid of them or have concerns about their presence around Sydney of late take the time to read this letter. It’s not a long letter as Mr Pope has the skill of writing succinctly.

The following are snippets: Grey-headed flying foxes are struggling to survive right down Australia’s east coast & now inland. Many are seriously underweight from lack of food.  This land is their home & has been for the past 2 million years. Being fair dinkum about conservation sometimes means putting the serious interests of other species ahead of your own less-serious ones….”  & “….species that has declined by more than 95%  in the past century & is listed as vulnerable to extinction.”

http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/news/opinion/letters/general/flying-foxes-pose-little-health-risk-to-humans/1878011.aspx

The Department of Environment & Resources reports that nearly 400 tonnes of seed has been dropped from planes on 5,000 hectares of exposed lakebed & more than 1.1 million native sedges have been planted on exposed lakebeds in South Australia by volunteers. On top of this, volunteers are also planting 130,000 shrub & tree seedlings on shorelines & wetlands in the Lower Murray River areas.  I am always impressed & heartened about our future when volunteers come together like this. http://www.landscapes.sa.gov.au/lsmain.jsp?xcid=187

Lastly, I missed Saving Our Tree’s birthday.  We were 1 year old on 16 June 2010.  Isn’t that lovely.  A very big thanks from me to everyone who has supported SoT by reading this blog, sending submissions & for all your ideas & words of encouragement. Don’t know what to say except the trees & the urban wildlife have hooked me & I couldn’t imagine not doing this.

Once I woke up to balloons on my bedroom ceiling

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