More trees are likely to be cut down to make way for new homes in Werribee’s Riverwalk estate, despite residents campaigning for the felling to end.
The revelation came last Thursday when Wyndham council met with Development Victoria to discuss the recent removal of trees along Geelong Road. The meeting follows a small band of residents who staged an early-morning protest and even tied themselves to one of the trees in a last-ditch attempt to prevent more trees being cut down.
City operations director Stephen Thorpe said the council used the meeting to make the concerns of Wyndham residents very clear.
“We discussed council’s wish to retain as many trees on the site as possible and what trees will be planted on the site in the future,” Mr Thorpe said.
“We understand that Development Victoria plans to remove more trees in the future and we made it clear during our meeting with them that they should consult with the community before this takes place.
“A key outcome of the meeting was Development Victoria’s acceptance of an offer from council to offer a revision of the subdivision for future stages of the site. This may allow them to revise their current plans and save further trees from being removed.”
Development Victoria, which is developing the estate in a joint venture with Melbourne Water, has been cutting down sugar gum and eucalyptus trees to make way for a display village along Geelong Road between Westleigh Drive/Newmarket Road and Alfred Road. A service road will also be built.
Residents believe the felled trees were part of the historic Calder Memorial, but both Development Victoria and Wyndham council said there was no evidence to suggest that the trees had heritage status.
At last week’s council meeting, Werribee resident Lisa Heinrichs called on the council to advocate to VicRoads and Development Victoria for the resurrection of the Avenue of Honour, including name plaques, and for an arch to be installed commemorating the Calder Memorial before the centenary of the end of World War I in November, 2018.