City of Mandurah chief executive defends council’s tree policy

The contentious Halls Head tree.
The contentious Halls Head tree.

MANDURAH City Council officers are committed to planning, planting, establishing and maintaining all verge trees and raising awareness of trees in an urban landscape, according to City chief executive Mark Newman.

Mr Newman was defending the council’s rejection of a request from a Halls Head resident to remove a verge tree in front of his home.

In a Facebook post, a resident queried the decision and asked where were council officers when permission was given for an entire row of mature trees to be felled for redevelopment of the Ocean Road oval adjacent to Ocean Road Primary School.

“These beautiful mature, shady trees were an absolute pleasure in an area which has been turned into a virtual desert by developers,’’ the post said.

“They offered shade for spectators and were frequently visited by black cockatoos and other birds.

“These trees were virtually on the verge of Ocean Road and with a bit of imagination could have been retained.

“The replacement trees are struggling to thrive and need maintenance and staking.

“Come on Mandurah.”

But Mr Newman said the community and environmental value of mature trees was well understood by the City.

“The City works hard to keep as many mature trees as possible and acknowledges the benefits they provide to the community,’’ he said.

“It aims to improve the quality and amenity of reserves, parks and residential areas through the Greening Mandurah Landscape Master Plan.

“Street trees offer cooling, shade and traffic calming and are often planted in new developments ahead of construction activity.”

Mr Newman said a number of trees had to be removed from the Ocean Road open space to allow proper access and development of the reserve, which was a much needed addition to community open space in the southern suburbs.

He said replanting would occur at a number of sites as part of a comprehensive vegetation plan that would also benefit future generations.

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