Replanting for bike path trees in Cottesloe

Plans for the proposed shared path.
Plans for the proposed shared path.

A CROP of 200 trees could replace the 48 proposed to be cut down to build cyclists’ long-awaited principle shared path (PSP) through Cottesloe.

At Cottesloe council last night, it was agreed to propose the extra planting along the Fremantle railway line, not to defer for a month to hear community protest about alternative designs.

“There’s a strong risk that if we defer for a month we could have further delays and a protracted outcome for the PSP,” Cr Helen Sadler said.

She proposed Main Roads plant two trees for each one felled, with the council to match that.

In May, the State Government announced $18.7 million for the PSP from Grant Street Station to Jarrad Street in 2018-19, and to Victoria Street, Mosman Park in 2019-20.

A flurry of community protest wassparked when it was revealed last weel 48 trees could go in Main Roads’ plan for a straight route, unshaded for about 36 per cent, along 3.5km along the railway’s reserve and council land.

Resident Peter Ewing and others spent 27 years growing trees and native vegetation from seeds and planting them on the reserve, and he said a recent walk along the proposed PSP route showed many of the 48 could be saved by designing curves into the path.

Mr Ewing said the council should hold off on Main Roads’ request to approve their route so a community working group could find how to save more trees.

However, PSP lobbyist Michael Thomas said it was critical the route be approved because a delay risked funding, and any replacements of felled frees could take advantage of the planting season next winter.

After rejecting Cr Michael Tucak’s proposal to support the PSP but defer to assess saving more trees, councillors agreed to approve Main Roads’ route if it agreed to share planting four replacement trees for each one felled and work on reducing the initial number to be cut down.

The council will also do a five-year tree canopy survey every five years and work with government departments to increase the canopy by 10 per cent in five years.