Wattle Grove campaigners will continue fight to save gum trees

Three young supporters who are trying to save the potential destruction of 14 trees in Wattle Grove. Photo: Ray Thompson.
Three young supporters who are trying to save the potential destruction of 14 trees in Wattle Grove. Photo: Ray Thompson.

CAMPAIGNERS trying to save an avenue of mature lemon-scented gum trees in Wattle Grove are vowing to fight on after City of Kalamunda councillors supported an amendment they say will still put the trees at risk.

Save the Gum Trees of Wattle Grove co-ordinator Vanessa Mazza will tonight call for a special meeting of electors in a last-ditch bid to stop the potential destruction of the trees.

Ms Mazza has been leading the charge to stop the trees on Welshpool Road East from being cut down to create a slip road to access the St Peters Jacobite Syrian Church development.

“We are extremely disappointed with the council decision to approve the amended works to access the church,” she said.

“We see it as a violation of the community’s good faith and a violation of the environment and the avenue’s historic and heritage value.

“The approval effectively places 14 of the trees at risk – this is a significant number and is unacceptable.”

However City of Kalamunda mayor John Giardina said modifications to the design for both slip lanes and proposed upgrading of the existing bus stop had reduced the original requirement to remove 13 trees to only one.

“I am pleased that officers, the developer and State Government agencies have been able to work together to find a solution that is more aligned with the community’s expectations,” he said.

“We are also in the process of listing the trees on the Municipal Heritage Inventory.”

But Ms Mazza said an arboriculturalist report stated elements of the proposed design required further investigation including the construction of a concrete footpath, drain, bus stop upgrades, slip lane and terminal barrier that could impact on the trees.

Ms Mazza said the request for a special electors meeting was signed by almost 150 people.

“The Mayor has 35 days to set a date for the meeting,” she said.

“This is our final chance to stop the potential destruction of up to 14 of the trees.

“We are calling for the item involving the lemon-scented gum trees to be deferred until after the special electors meeting.”

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