FEARS about mature trees being removed during demolition of the Koondoola community buildings on Burbridge Avenue are unwarranted, according to the City of Wanneroo.
With demolition work due to begin mid-April, Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman expressed concern that some of the mature trees would be sacrificed in the process.
In a letter to Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts, Ms Freeman said it was important the City committed to retaining trees surrounding the Koondoola Community Kindergarten and Koondoola Hall.
“Trees play a vital role in urban areas,” she said.
“They assist in a variety of ways, such as heat mitigation, shade protection and attractiveness of an area.”
According to Ms Freeman, over the past five years, one in every six big trees had been cut down across Perth suburbs, which was a drastic drop in canopy coverage as the trees were sacrificed for development.
The community hall has been vacant for about two years, with most groups using the facility relocating to the Koondoola Community Centre on Koondoola Avenue after it opened in May 2016.
Mrs Roberts assured that the demolition, estimated to cost about $80,000, would not involve the removal of “any” trees.
“It is intended that all mature trees will be retained,” she said.
“The City is committed to increasing tree canopy cover.
“In the past two years, the City has planted around 6000 trees across streetscapes and parks.”
Local governments including the cities of Bayswater, Vincent, Stirling and Fremantle committed to increase canopy cover to 18-20 per cent from 2025 to 2050.
The City has also developed a draft Street Tree Policy that specifies a minimum of one suitable species of tree would be planted on residential verges.
Mrs Roberts said the policy would be presented to the council in the second half of 2018 for consideration.