Mt Lawley residents fight City of Stirling for survival of tree

Mt Lawley residents fight City of Stirling for survival of tree
Mt Lawley residents fight City of Stirling for survival of tree

MT LAWLEY children plastered the message ‘build around trees’ to a City of Stirling-owned rose gum soon to be chopped down to make way for a development.

Central Avenue resident Anthony Ridolfo started a petition with nearly 50 signatures to save the Cadney Lane tree, estimated to be more than 30 years old.

“As a father and community member I believe it is our responsibility in raising awareness,” he said.

“Unless the community make a stand and fight for what is important to us then no developer or council is going to care.

“If they continue removing council owned trees the message sent out to private landholders is that the council doesn’t care, neither should you.”

Mr Ridolfo said the community had not been advised the tree would be removed.

“With a young growing family we made the decision to move to an area that was central and also surrounded by nature,” he said.

“The local residents were both surprised and disappointed that they have not been advised of this (tree removal).”

Stirling planning director Ross Povey said the approved multi unit development required the removal of the tree for driveway access and future widening of the laneway.

“The tree is partially on private property; the owner is entitled to have the portion of the tree removed that enters into their private property,” he said.

“The City is currently developing a planning policy requested by Council to address planting of new trees on development sites.

“The City is modelling out canopy increase scenarios for reducing canopy loss and increasing tree planting to illustrate to Council how 18 per cent canopy cover could be achieved across multiple time frames, and this information will inform the current development of the City’s Urban Forest Strategy.”

Mr Povey said the majority of tree canopy losses were from private not public land.

Despite the planned removal of the tree, the City maintained its target to increase the canopy cover to 18 per cent by 2030 could be reached.

“The rate of tree loss to developments is challenging, the City’s latest canopy data shows that 68 per cent of Stirling’s canopy loss is from residential land and by next year, if average loses continue, Stirling will be on track to lose 1 million square meters of tree canopy within a five year period,” he said.

The current City of Stirling canopy cover sits at 12.9 per cent.

Developer Megara was contacted for comment but did not reply before deadline.

Where Stirling canopy cover is

Current overall canopy cover – 12.9 per cent

The target – 18 per cent overall by 2030

Residential land – 31 per cent

Verges – 20 per cent

Public open space – 30 per cent

Commercial land – 3 per cent

Industrial land – 1 per cent

State Government land – 9 per cent