Stunning remnant roadside vegetation on the Western Highway near Mt Langi Ghiran will be destroyed if the local residents’ campaign is successful. They are trying to save trees on their farms, a perfectly acceptable aim.
Worryingly, residents are also calling for a so called “alternative” route that could only lead to the loss of the continuous, very high conservation value roadsides at the foothills of the mountain (a State Park), over more than a 6 km stretch. That must not happen. The roadsides extend the vegetation from the mount which is essential for maintaining a vibrant habitat. The roadsides are home to a large population of Sugar Gliders – and are replete with other animals, birds, insects and reptiles.
- The locals are calling for a “narrow road” in the powerline easement
- But the veg there is unique and valuable in numerous ways and should under no circumstances be removed
- DELWP insisted the vegetation in this area be protected. The approved alignment is further away from the mountain – within the residents’ properties
- There is an unnamed species of Melaleuca there (recognised by the Melbourne Herbarium), a rare Grevillia and significant populations of the rare Emerald-lip Greenhood
- VicRoads wouldn’t build a narrow road – they are under obligation to build to a freeway standard
- Residents didn’t allow for the need to manoeuvre materials and machinery etc
- The “northern option” was only ever proffered by the residents, in the hope VicRoads would agree to a swap
- The entire southern roadside would have to be wiped out if the highway duplication were to occur here
- A faulty accounting technique makes people think the farmland is actually more significant ecologically than the roadside in question. That’s because the damage to the environment of a hoped-for and impossible narrow two-laned roadway (in the powerline easement) is compared with the full four-laned freeway on the approved route
- The residents fail to mention that even if their land were to be spared impacts by a freeway, it has no environmental protection and subsequent owners would be free to pursue normal farming activities with the attendant losses of biodiversity as can be seen on surrounding farmland
The Latrobe Valley Sustainability Group is protesting VicRoads’ proposal to remove 90 Endangered Strzelecki Gums plus acacias and wattles (including 24 old and very old trees) as part of a road safety project on the Tyers/Traralgon Road in the Latrobe Valley. Latrobe City only has 23% remaining native vegetation.
It would take St Kilda Road (and Domain Parklands) at least a generation to recover from Melbourne Metro Rail construction, as new trees planted to replace those destroyed will not mature for many, many decades. Very Third World! The trees should be saved and any construction works forced to accommodate them.
A prominent, highly visible fence on Flemington Rd has been painted with a plea to the Premier Daniel Andrews.
“Daniel Andrews – no more tree killing – please.”
The sign also refers to this blog site – SaveRoadsideTrees.com. It’s putting the government on notice that the unprecedented attack on the environment by major projects in both city and country will have consequences.
Many Melbourne groups, including the Friends of Moonee Ponds Creek , the National Trust (which has listed the tree) and the Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport mourn the destruction of an iconic 92 year old Lemon-scented Gum, and 5-6 others in Parkville. The combined might of the State Government, Vic Roads and Transurban have joined forces to demolish a much loved living treasure. Large old trees such as these are invaluable in built-up inner city areas, but their many benefits go unrecognised by money-driven authorities such as the three just mentioned. Assigning a monetary value to all our trees could be a solution.
Many motorists visiting Halls Gap in the Grampians prefer to take the scenic route. (They visit the Grampians because they happen to like its natural beauty – so they like beautiful tree-lined roadsides as well). One such road takes them via Cathcart and Moyston from Ararat. There are often people parked at the Cathcart picnic spot – where there is a shed, toilets and a picnic table. (Plus tennis courts – for the locals). It is very picturesque, and now also gives some respite to travellers from the east who have confronted the shock of the recent Western Highway tree losses.
Ararat Rural City Council, however, voted last year to allow VicRoads to remove many significant Yellow Box, Yellow Gums and other beautiful specimens of eucalypts along this route. One Ararat councillor, Fay Hulls, remarked that if she hadn’t voted in favour of the tree removals then she would have felt personally responsible for anyone having an accident in the area subsequently. (!) Her response is probably testament to the effective PR she and other councillors had been subjected to.
This story appeared in The Age on November 16, 2015, journalist is Adam Carey.
It has been called “the most dangerous intersection anywhere in Victoria” by a former premier, a black spot 20 minutes south of Bendigo on the Calder Highway that has seen six serious crashes, two of them fatal, in the past six years.
There is hope the death of a 30-year old man last year will be the last at Ravenswood, with work beginning this month on the construction of an $86 million circular interchange unique to Victoria that will make the intersection much safer.
35 – perhaps more – beautiful Redgums and Yellow Box trees at Cathcart on the Ararat- Hall’s Gap Rd are set to be cut out. The choice of trees to be destroyed seems random and illogical, and quite unnecessary.
VicRoads already knows how to have Armco railing really close to trees- just close up the post spacing like this to reduce deflection in the case of an impact.
Roadside trees like these south of Pootilla on the Ballarat -Daylesford road are set to be removed as part of the TAC-funded “Towards Zero” “safety” campaign. (The exact location is unclear).
VicRoads is stepping up its campaign to remove what it euphemistically terms “Roadside Hazards,” in huge numbers around the State. Ordinary people of course value these “roadside trees”as being intrinsically important to the living environment. An article in the Ballarat Courier quotes the TAC’s new CEO as saying “while some fatalities were due to behaviour like speeding or drink driving, it was time to take a “more systemic view”. By which he presumably means the “systematic attempt to remove roadside trees.”
VicRoads seem intent on removing the character of beautiful country roads, these days preferring to refer to trees using the engineered term “roadside obstacles.” Between 35 and 100 roadside trees which are mainly Yellow and Red Gums are in the firing line along the scenic route from Ararat to the Grampians. If safety is really the issue, why can’t VicRoads specify more sensible speed limits on picturesque country roads, rather than a full assault on the environment?