RESIDENTS from as far as Joondalup and Karrinyup were among those fighting to stop a Victoria Park council decision for the Lathlain Park redevelopment.
At a special council meeting on Tuesday, council unanimously passed the officer’s recommendation to advise the WA Planning Commission to approve the West Coast Eagle’s (WCE) application.
The WCE application involves the redevelopment in size of the Perth Football Club oval and the construction of an additional oval for the AFL team’s new home ground training facility, as well as other redevelopment projects.
To make way for landscape and building design, the application identified about 98 trees that would need to be removed from Lathlain Park; the park currently has about 270 trees.
The application said the trees needed to be removed because some were on the site of the proposed second oval, some were limb-dropping species and some would be affected by the change in ground levels.
While the majority of the meeting attendees agreed WCE moving their home ground to Lathlain would be positive, residents and community members were concerned about the loss of the 60 year old, mature trees.
During question time, residents said the project was being rushed and the loss of so many trees would negatively impact the community for many years to come.
Resident Rainer Repke travelled from his home in Joondalup to attend the meeting and said matured trees were disappearing from Perth at an alarming rate.
“Everyone tells us that a few trees must go, it cannot be helped and it’s all for benefit,” Mr Repke said in his statement.
“Nature always has to give. What (the development) intends to do adds to climate change in a negative way.”
Before councillors voted, Deputy Mayor Brian Oliver said this was the biggest project in the Town’s history and the decision would not be made lightly.
Councillor Julian Jacobs, a player for the Perth Football Club, said the redevelopment was an opportunity for the community to make use of Lathlain Park.
“Now, we train a few days a week but then the gates are locked and the community can’t use it,” Cr Jacobs said.
Cr Claire Anderson said she supported the redevelopment because there was currently no disability access.
“There isn’t any room or access for disabled people to watch with their friends and family in the grand stand,” Cr Anderson said.