Town of Vic Park stumps up for Lathlain Park tree plan

Lathalin Park.
Lathalin Park.

THE Town of Victoria Park will develop an Urban Forest Strategy after criticism from some residents about the impact of the Lathlain Park redevelopment.

Locals have raised concerns about the removal of 98 mature trees at the park where the West Coast Eagles want to build two ovals – one the size of the MCG – for the Eagles, Perth Football Club and community to use.

Nearly 20 motions calling for the project to be delayed and more community input were passed at an Electors’ Special Meeting on July 13 and then presented to the council on August 9.

Of the 19 motions, the council will take action on only one – a proposal to increase tree canopy coverage in the Town of Victoria Park to 20 per cent by 2020.

Town of Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said the council recognised the importance trees played in the Town and the environmental, economic and community benefits they provided.

“Town officers have been in regular contact with the Victoria Park Urban Tree Network and identified them as being an ideal stakeholder in this project,” he said.

“Additionally, input from tertiary institutions will be sought along with the community and arboriculture industry.”

Mr Vaughan said the Town had recently awarded a contract to Paperbark Technologies to audit all of the Town’s trees in parks and streetscapes.

“Once we know exactly our current percentage of canopy cover and planting opportunities, then we will be able to begin to strategise on known ‘hot spots’ to target with plantings,” Mr Vaughan said.

Victoria Park Urban Tree Network founder Peter Melrosa said he was pleased with the council’s decision to develop the strategy but felt the council should do more to survey trees at Lathlain Park.

“I wanted clarification about the significance of the trees at the oval; I understand the council has already done an assessment but I think other areas could have been looked at,” he said.

“The community has reservations about the plan but the Town of Victoria Park has made up its mind.”