Victoria Park: Rates discount appeal for homes with big trees

Victoria Park: Rates discount appeal for homes with big trees

VICTORIA Park Council will consider whether people who harbour significant trees on residential properties should be eligible for a discount on their annual rates bill.

Vic Park Trees member Peter Melrosa made the request at the council’s annual electors meeting in late December, where he said it was time authorities recognise the monetary value associated with keeping trees.

He said as well as costs of buying, planting and pruning, trees provided perceived mental health benefits that could amount to savings on medication.

He also believed people who choose not to develop their land in the interest of preserving trees should be compensated for providing a community benefit.

Council chief financial officer Nathan Cain warned that a discount may not be allowed through the terms of the Local Government Act, so the request was changed to ask the Town to investigate all available options to support people who have a significant tree.

He also asked that the council embark on improving and adding to its significant tree registry and work to complete footpaths across the Town.

Those motions, which were carried at the meeting, will now be investigated by Town officers and made the subject of reports for council consideration.

Several other motions were successfully put at the electors meeting, including a series from Lathlain resident Luana Lisandro.

She asked that the Victoria Park library be open on Sundays and that an after-hours return chute be added.

“If we are looking at revitalising the strip possibly having the library open longer would help,” she said.

She also suggested the council appoint a tree officer to oversee and advocate for its Urban Forest Strategy and a fulltime library worker to retain and expand history records of the area.

Victoria Park currently has an employee contracted short-term specifically to digitise the town’s history records.

Morag Croft asked the council to look at improving the King George Street laneway that runs behind Albany Highway businesses, saying the addition of lighting, bitumen, flower gardens and bin placement rules for the businesses would go a long way towards making the laneway more attractive.

The only idea put forward at the meeting not supported by the small band of electors present was long-time resident John Gleeson’s request to change the look and colour of the Town’s flag.

He described as ridiculous that the “dull and listless” flag included a blue cloud on a white background, and suggested those colours could be reversed. The centrepoint of the flag – a tree – should be three-times bigger, he said.

Only a couple of people supported his idea when it was put to the vote.