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Eulogy for Les Smith OAM

Les Smith, eminent Whitehorse environmentalist and patriarch of the Blackburn and District Tree Preservation Society died on 16 December 2018.

Les was involved in the conservation movement for over 60 years, initially in England in the late 1940’s and continuing when he moved to Australia in the 1950’s.

He joined the Tree Society in the early 1960s and served with distinction on the executive committee in many roles over the years including committee member, president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, membership secretary and newsletter editor.

Les was actively involved in the campaign to save the Little Desert from being subdivided for farming in the late1960s. This campaign was instrumental in launching a wave of environmental campaigns throughout Victoria and also led to the formation of what is now Environment Victoria, an organization to which Les has contributed greatly since its inception.

He was Nunawading Citizen of the Year in the 1975.

Until recent times Les remained active as a volunteer, member or executive committee member of a number of organizations allied to the preservation and enhancement of our natural environment.

Apart from the tree society Les was actively involved with:

• Environment Victoria

• Bungalook Nursery (Whitehorse Indigenous Plant Project)

• Antonio Park, Yarran Dheran and Wandinong bushland park advisory committees in Whitehorse

• Urimbirra Co-operative that owns 1,000 ha of close to virgin bush adjacent to what is now the little Desert National Park. The property is covered by a Conservation Covenant administered by the Trust for Nature and only removable by Act of Parliament

• Friends of the Little Desert

• The Mullum-Mullum Festival (Les was the 2011 festival Patron).

Les, affectionately dubbed the ‘Godfather’ of environmental advocacy in the City of Whitehorse and beyond, was honored with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his community service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2017. He was officially presented with his award by the Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Linda Dessau in October 2017 at a ceremony at Government House.

His legacy will live on in the natural world he fought so hard, and with such good grace, to preserve and enhance. Moreover Les inspired many people to embrace his environmental philosophy and deeds.

Our condolences and prayers go out to Helen and the Smith family on this sad occasion. Vale Les Smith OAM.

Planting at Yooralla

Planting at Yooralla (1969): Les Smith & Warren

Les Smith

Les Smith 1989

TS committee

Les Smith (centre) with fellow Tree Society committee members Anne Payne, Mary Crouch, Ann Clayton and David Berry, June 2017

 

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March 2019 Newsletter

Eulogy for Les Smith OAM

Les Smith, eminent Whitehorse environmentalist and patriarch of the Blackburn and District Tree Preservation Society died on 16 December 2018.

Les was involved in the conservation movement for over 60 years, initially in England in the late 1940’s and continuing when he moved to Australia in the 1950’s.

He joined the Tree Society in the early 1960s and served with distinction on the executive committee in many roles over the years including committee member, president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, membership secretary and newsletter editor.

Les was actively involved in the campaign to save the Little Desert from being subdivided for farming in the late1960s. This campaign was instrumental in launching a wave of environmental campaigns throughout Victoria and also led to the formation of what is now Environment Victoria, an organization to which Les has contributed greatly since its inception.

He was Nunawading Citizen of the Year in the 1975.

Until recent times Les remained active as a volunteer, member or executive committee member of a number of organizations allied to the preservation and enhancement of our natural environment.

Apart from the tree society Les was actively involved with:

  • Environment Victoria
  • Bungalook Nursery (Whitehorse Indigenous Plant Project)
  • Antonio Park, Yarran Dheran and Wandinong bushland park advisory committees in Whitehorse
  • Urimbirra Co-operative that owns 1,000 ha of close to virgin bush adjacent to what is now the little Desert National Park. The property is covered by a Conservation Covenant administered by the Trust for Nature and only removable by Act of Parliament
  • Friends of the Little Desert and
  • The Mullum-Mullum Festival (Les was the 2011 festival Patron).

Les, affectionately dubbed the ‘Godfather’ of environmental advocacy in the City of Whitehorse and beyond, was honored with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his community service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2017. He was officially presented with his award by the Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Linda Dessau in October 2017 at a ceremony at Government House.

His legacy will live on in the natural world he fought so hard, and with such good grace, to preserve and enhance. Moreover Les inspired many people to embrace his environmental philosophy and deeds.

Our condolences and prayers go out to Helen and the Smith family on this sad occasion.

Vale Les Smith OAM.

A Celebration of Les Smith’s Involvement in the Tree Society and the Society’s 60th Birthday

Later in 2019 the tree society committee will be organizing a special activity to commemorate the achievements of Les Smith in the tree society along with a celebration of the society’s 60th anniversary. Watch this Space for further details.

An Important Message from the Committee of the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society Inc.

Dear Members and Friends of the Tree Society

In this, our 60th year, the committee has been reduced to four members with the passing of Les Smith OAM in December last year.

Les was the society’s newsletter editor and membership secretary in recent years and his loss will be keenly felt by all who cherish the natural landscape in Whitehorse and beyond.

Furthermore, executive committee member Mary Crouch has recently moved out of Whitehorse and, as a consequence, will be taking a much less active role in the tree society into the future.

Thankfully Mary has agreed to remain on the committee until the end of the 2018-19 financial year. Mary’s contribution to the tree society committee has been crucial over the past 12 years and she has filled the roles of minute secretary and latterly treasurer with great aplomb.

The remaining committee members, Ann Clayton, Anne Payne and David Berry have vowed to continue to provide a voice for the trees and landscape in Whitehorse and beyond.

BUT we need help!

The tree society cannot function with three members on the executive so we are putting out a call for members and friends to seriously consider becoming a committee member of the society.

We specifically require a new treasurer to replace Mary, a membership secretary and a newsletter editor (the society newsletter is published and distributed three times each year).

The society convenes six committee meetings, each of two hours duration, per year in February, March, May, July, September and November with the AGM held before the November meeting.

Please consider joining the committee and playing a role in advocating for our natural environment.

I can be contacted via email (bdtpsociety@gmail.com) or mobile 0413 457 184 to discuss further.

We will need to increase our committee membership to at least five members before the AGM in November this year.

Thanks, in anticipation.

David Berry, Ann Clayton, Mary Crouch and Anne Payne

Committee

Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society Inc.

Vale David Moss

The tree society committee was saddened to hear the news that long-time supporter, David Moss, had passed away on the 4th February, aged 92 years.

David was an original member of the Blackburn and District Tree Preservation Society and retained his interest in the Society throughout his life.

David was also a member of the Whitehorse Film Society and in its early days he was involved with the filming and took part in the film:

Did Auguste Schwerkolt dig the Blackburn Lake One Sunday Morning?’

He also starred in it.

Alas the film was lost some years again, much to David’s regret.

David represented the tree society when a community group was formed in 1965, to rally support to Save Blackburn Lake. He later became a committee member of Blackburn Lake Sanctuary committee of management in 1972 and remained on the committee as an active member holding various positions until 1989.

David has been a part of the community in Blackburn for a long time and been on many committees in working to improve our environment and help make Blackburn such a beaut place to live. For many years he led walking groups in many walks around Melbourne.

David made hundreds of friends with his generous nature and he will be sadly missed.

Whitehorse Tree Controls via Significant Landscape Overlay No. 9 (SLO9)

The Victorian Minister for Planning, the Hon Richard Wynne MP has applied a 6-month extension for council’s temporary citywide tree controls after concerted lobbying by council, community groups, tree society members and others.

Well done all!

This extension, until 30 June 2019, will allow Whitehorse council to prepare and present a strong case for making the tree controls (via Significant Landscape Overlay No. 9) permanent.

The tree society committee requests that all members and friends keep up the lobbying with their ward councillors to let them know how important the SLO9 is for Whitehorse.

Council needs to be more active in managing the Public Open Space Reserve Fund

Council forecasts an amount in excess of $40M in the Public Open Space Reserve Fund for the 2018-19 Budget year (with $64M forecast for 2021-22).

A significant surge in fund deposits is anticipated in the future due to the increased developer contributions resulting from the escalating number of medium and high-density infill developments within Whitehorse (including the massive high-rise building expansion in the Box Hill Metropolitan Activity Centre).

This amount of money in the Public Open Space Reserve fund is large and growing exponentially yet council allocates a mere fraction, in the order of $1-1.5M per year, each year for strategic land purchases for open space and parks.

The society advocates that council is sluggish in allocating funds to purchase much-needed strategic parcels of land to create open spaces and parklands for the residents of Whitehorse.

The most neglected areas for open space in Whitehorse are in the Box Hill area.

Some suggestions:

  • Convert the council-owned Box Hill Bowling Club site into a small park or large plaza to benefit Box Hill’s high-rise dwellers
  • Purchase the historic Box Hill Brickworks site, clean it up and develop the land as a municipal park and recreation centre by amalgamating the park with Surrey Dive, Surrey Park and Aqualink Box Hill
  • Reduce ground-level open air car parks and instead turn the land over to parks and open spaces. A relevant case study is Cato Park in Prahran. The City of Stonnington has committed $60M for the conversion of a 9,000 square metre car park into an open-air plaza and urban garden complete with two levels of underground parking. The $60M cost will be made up from a $37M loan, $10.5M in savings and $15M from council’s open space reserve fund.

Box Hill is crying out for this sort of people-friendly initiative.

A proportion of the Fund money can also be used to improve existing parks, for example:

  • Provide additional funding for the purchase, planting and maintenance of more trees and lower storey vegetation in the city’s parks and open spaces
  • Work with Melbourne Water to create more wetland habitat areas in city parks with waterways
  • Develop and implement strategies to minimize park use conflicts in the city’s parks e.g.:
    • Build enclosed leash-free dog parks in parks to separate free-roaming dogs and other park users
    • Utilize alternative porous car park and entry road hard surfacing for outdoor sporting facilities e.g. Morton Park in Blackburn
    • Construct separate walking and cycling paths through linear parks that currently contain major bike trails e.g. the Koonung Creek and Gardiners Creek Trails.

Call for a greater budgetary allocation for the Whitehorse Street Tree Program

At the recent Whitehorse Council Budget Briefing session in mid-February, the issue of council’s street tree program was raised by society president, David Berry.

The society is alarmed that many of our local streets are relatively devoid of street trees, in fact some streets have barely half the desired number of at least one reasonably sized tree on each nature-strip.

In addition, many of the street trees planted by council are barely trees at all e.g. Acacia stricta which is a short-lived shrubby wattle.

The society is calling for an increase in funding for council’s street tree program which has stagnated over the past 12 or more years as illustrated in the accompanying table:

Whitehorse Budgeted Funds for Street Tree Planting Program (source Whitehorse Budgets 2003-2019)

Year Amount Comments
2003-04 $235,000
2004-05 $200,000 Decrease $35,000
2005-06 No Figures found
2006-07 $300,000 Increase $100,000
2007-08 $300,000 No Change
2008-09 $310,000 Increase $10,000
2009-10 $320,000 increase $10,000
2010-11 $300,000 Decrease  $20,000
2011-12 $340,000 Increase $40,000
2012-13 $350,000 Increase $10,000
2013-14 $300,000 Decrease $50,000
2014-15 $300,000 No Change
2015-16 $300,000 No Change
2016-17 No Figures found
2017-18 $300,000 No Change
2018-19 $300,000 No Change

The total street tree planting expenditure for the 14 years was ~ $4.2M. (or $300,000 per year).

By way of comparison Whitehorse City Council spent the following amounts of money on the following major projects from 2003 to 2019 (excluding years 2005-06 and 2016-17):

Over $2M on the Morack Golf Club

Over $3M on car parks

Around $4.5M on the Box Hill Gardens and over $50M on Box Hill Aqualink.

The environmental value of trees generally, and street trees in particular, has been extensively studied. The Low Carbon Living CRC Guide to Urban Cooling Strategies (July 2017) contains information about the cooling effects of urban vegetation, street trees, natural turfs, ground cover and parks. Refer to the document at:

www.lowcarbonlivingcrc.com.au/sites/all/files/publications_file_attachments/rp2024_guide_to_urban_cooling_strategies_2017_web.pdf

Major Issues & Activities

  • Morton Park Car Park Upgrade

In November 2018 the tree society made a submission to council regarding the proposed Morton Park car park upgrade. Council’s final plan was circulated in late February and, whilst an improvement on the original draft plan, still fell short of society and community expectations.

The tree society responded to council on the 3rd March and re-stated that there will be negative impacts on the mature canopy trees (many of which are indigenous) that border the proposed hard surfacing of the road and car park areas in Morton Park.

It appears from the final concept plan that at least 10 and up to 20 existing trees will have their tree protection zones (TPZs) substantially affected by the hard surfacing.

A number of questions were raised in the society’s response:

  • Has an arborist been involved in providing council with arboricultural advice on this proposal?
  • Has council calculated the TPZ incursion for each of the trees bordering the proposed works?
  • Has council developed a tree protection plan for these trees?

The society believes that the proposed works, as illustrated in the final concept plan, will contravene the relevant Australian Standard AS 4970 – 2009 ‘Protection of trees on development sites’.

Whitehorse Council planners conscientiously apply AS4970-2009 to residential development proposals to ensure that tree protection zones are indeed protected.

The tree society advocates that council apply the same rigour to any proposed development works on council property that will impact existing trees.

To do otherwise will engender a community view that a double-standard applies with council on issues associated with trees – not a good look at all!

The tree society did provide a solution to this issue in the submission forwarded to council in mid-November 2018:

  • The asphalt (or similar non-porous) sealing of existing gravel surfaces in and around established trees cannot be supported. From the Draft Concept Plan it appears that the asphalting 

will seriously compromise the Tree Protection Zones (TPZs) for 7-10 of the retained trees (i.e. TPZ impingement of greater than 10%). This incursion will negatively impact the trees’ health, vigour and longevity

  • Council must explore porous surfacing alternatives to asphalting and re-surface with these innovative paving solutions following ‘de-compaction’ of the existing gravel surfaces and car park areas …’ 

The tree society committee is seeking an urgent meeting with council on this issue.

  • Application for Community Group Membership of the North East Link Project Community Liaison Group by the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society Inc.

On the 19th February 2019 the tree society committee formally applied for membership of the North East Link Community Liaison Group (NEL CLG).

As yet we haven’t been informed as to the outcome of our application.

The tree society considers this project to be one of the most important and divisive issues facing the Whitehorse urban environment and will do little to alleviate motor traffic issues in Whitehorse – in fact it has the potential to make them much worse.

The tree society will act as a strong advocate for the natural landscape and public amenity of Whitehorse if allowed to participate in the NEL CLG.

We will perform exactly the same task if our application is unsuccessful.

The society is highly critical of the construction and expansion of Melbourne’s archaic freeway system at the expense of any meaningful attempts to improve the city’s public transport system in Whitehorse specifically and metropolitan Melbourne more broadly. This improvement is necessary in the short term given that the proposed radial train network won’t come on stream until 2050 and Melbourne Metro completion date is beyond 2025.

Examples of short-term ‘doable’ initiatives include the expansion of the existing metropolitan radial bus network in terms of frequency, flexibility and efficiency and investigation of the ‘trackless’ tram between major commercial/residential/retail precincts e.g. Box Hill to Doncaster Shoppingtown.

The society has a general interest in the natural landscape from Greensborough to Bulleen and more specifically for the construction works on the Eastern Freeway and associated north-south roads (including Elgar, Station Street, Middleborough, Surrey-Blackburn and Springvale Roads). The society is vitally interested in the mitigation of construction impacts on the natural landscape of these areas and the enhancement of parklands and open spaces adjoining the Eastern Freeway and associated major north-south feeder roads.

  • Box Hill Metropolitan Activity Centre

The first meeting of the Whitehorse council-inspired Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) to review the Vision of the Box Hill Metropolitan Activity Centre (BH MAC) was held on 5 March 2019.

The tree society applied but was not included on the SRG even though we made detailed submissions and a 45-minute presentation to the Planning Panels Victoria hearing on Amendment C175 to the Box Hill MAC in July 2017.

However, Geoff White from the Combined Residents of Whitehorse Action Group (CROWAG) is on the SRG and, as the society is a group member of CROWAG, the society has some representation on the SRG.

The outstanding issues, as listed below, that the tree society have with the development of the Box Hill MAC were raised at the Planning Panels Victoria hearing in 2017.

Overall council needs to show leadership and actively lobby/work with the state government and relevant government agencies as well as the private sector to achieve a people-friendly outcome otherwise the Box Hill MAC will become an urban slum.

Council also needs to develop a Master Plan and a costed action plan over 10-15 years to create a Box Hill MAC that is human-centred, aesthetically pleasing and attractive for people to live, visit, recreate, work and enjoy.

As Danish architect Jan Gehl, the world-renowned urban design expert, has stated ‘Plan urban spaces for pedestrians and cyclists and the rest will follow automatically.’

Because the large number of high-rise buildings is a fait accompli council needs to urgently address the quality-of-life issues that face the residents, workers, commuters and visitors to Box Hill MAC into the future.

These include:

– Active transport spaces including pavements must be wide, landscaped with trees and shrubs, contain street furniture, interface with cafes, retail outlets and other gathering places, be open to natural light and vistas with easy, stress-free connectivity with parks, open spaces, the retail/commercial/residential precincts, public transport interchanges, schools, the hospital, TAFE and the rest of Box Hill

– Barriers to low stress active transport movements must be eliminated even if to the detriment of motor traffic movement thru the MAC

– Council must utilise funding from council’s burgeoning open space reserve fund (currently valued at over $50M) to facilitate the purchase of open space in Box Hill, an area lacking in quality, accessible open space now let alone when urgently needed as the BH population soars. The best example is the Brickworks site near Surrey Park. The fund can also be used to improve existing open space e.g. convert the old Box Hill bowling club site into a plaza, improve links between parks and opens spaces, purchase strategic blocks to create plazas and/or facilitate linkages etc.

– Parks and open spaces can be created in unusual places e.g. roof over the rail line east of Station Street and create a park/plaza/easy link across the rail line; put a roof top garden over the Box Hill railway station west of the bus station; convert Carrington and Rutland Roads into pedestrian malls; underground ALL car parking in the MAC and convert the existing ground level car parks into open spaces

– Provide safe, broad linkages across barriers e.g. overpasses and pedestrian tunnels to connect both sides of Whitehorse Road, Elgar Road, Station Street, the railway line etc.

Current Planning Issues

Over the last few months there has been a large number of planning applications opposed by the society due to tree and vegetation loss/damage or applications that contain aspirational planting plans that have little chance of being realised.

The current planning issues are listed below are at various stages of resolution including a number that will be going to VCAT this year including 10 Eustace Street, 203 Canterbury Road and 42-48 Glenburnie Road. Members requiring more information on individual cases can email the society committee on bdtpsociety@gmail.com

The planning issues include:

25 Holland Road Blackburn South                             42-48 Glenburnie Road Mitcham,

199 Canterbury Road Blackburn                                203 Canterbury Road Blackburn

245-247 Canterbury Road Blackburn                        1-3 Naughton Grove Blackburn

124-126 Blackburn Road Blackburn                          10 Eustace Street Blackburn Blackburn

11 Gissing Street Blackburn South                            2 Sergeant Street Blackburn

14 Dickens Street Blackburn                                      4 Loddon Street Box Hill

124-126 Blackburn Road Blackburn

Plantings in Whitehorse Parklands

  • Healesville Freeway Reserve in Forest Hill

In December 2018, contractors planted over 18,000 indigenous plants in a number of newly-mulched large beds from Davy Reserve to the east near the community gardens and council nursery. One of the beds was planted out by community volunteers at the same time and the contractor will be watering the plants through the summer/autumn period. These plants are the major component of an offset planting program, brokered by the tree society, to replace tree and shrub canopy resulting from the loss of so much vegetation with the Blackburn and Heatherdale level crossing removals.

  • Junction Road/Nunawading Parklands in Nunawading

Preliminary work on the spraying, ripping and mulching of two large beds in the parklands has been completed. Contractors have planted upwards of 3,000 indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses in the beds and have been watering them over the summer months. These plants also form part of the offset planting program, brokered by the

tree society, to replace the loss of trees and vegetation with the local level crossing removals. 

  • Masons Road Reserve

The pond plantings are looking good even though we’ve had so little rain so far in 2019. In addition, the Melbourne Water plantings on the banks of the retarding basin are starting to impact positively on the local landscape. More activities will be held in the reserve this year.

The Blackburn & District Environment Protection Fund

The Fund, sponsored by the tree society, supports conservation activities and environmental education programs in Whitehorse.

Donations are regularly made in support of the environmental education programs for primary school children at Blackburn Lake Sanctuary and Yarran Dheran.

In addition, a number of local groups will be approached this year and offered small environment grants for on-ground environmental works.

Contact David Berry for further details.

Donations can be made by:

  • Completing and sending a cheque to the fund at the following address:

BDEPF, PO Box 210, Blackburn, VIC 3130

The fund’s web-site address is http://blackburnenviro.wordpress.com/

The Combined Residents of Whitehorse Action Group Inc. (CROWAG)

Email – crowag.inc@gmail.com

Webhttp://www.crowag.com

In mid-February this important community lobby group (of which the tree society is a member) met with senior Whitehorse Council planning staff to discuss and clarify the many of the planning issues currently facing the community.

In addition, since December 2018, CROWAG has been busy advocating on many issues including:

  • The extension of the temporary city-wide tree controls (via Significant Landscape Overlay No. 9 or SLO9) until a strong case can be made for the controls becoming permanent AND being strengthened to ‘catch-up’ with the tighter controls enjoyed in other SLO areas in Whitehorse (e.g. SLO1 and SLO2)
  • Illegal tree removal. In December 2018 CROWAG sent a letter to the Victorian Minister for Planning protesting the paltry fines mandated by the state government for the illegal removal of trees on private property in Victoria. in contrast, NSW has had meaningful tree protections applied since 1979. The NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 provides that the maximum penalty for illegal tree removal or destruction in breach of the Act is a fine of $1.1 million and a further fine of $110,000 for each day that the offence persists. In addition to imposing a fine, the NSW Act permits the court to order a person convicted of illegal tree removal/destruction to plant and maintain new trees to maturity, and to provide a financial security for the performance of any obligation of this kind.
  • CROWAG member Ross Gillespie (Glenburnie Road Residents Association) has development a draft position paper on the development and institution of council-sanctioned Green Notices for Building Sites. These notices would be placed on the front boundaries of development sites to provide useful information for the public on trees and vegetation to be retained and removed and details of a replacement planting plan to replace any lost green canopy as per the Whitehorse Planning Scheme. This initiative is fully supported by the tree society.
  • CROWAG has also written to the Victorian Planning Minister detailing the loopholes and shortfalls in the recently introduced VicSmart planning policy that fast-tracks the permit process for the removal of single trees on private property, seemingly without the required checks and balances.

How to Lose Water, Waste Money and Wreck the Environment

Policy doesn’t hold water
Victoria props up a logging industry even though it costs us in water supply.
http://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/how-to-lose-water-waste-money-and-wreck-the-environment-20190305-p511ti.html?btis

Tree Society History – Fighting for the Trees

Only a few copies of the history book remain. Fighting for the Trees – the story of the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society is available at $25 per copy for tree society members and $30 for non-members. Please contact David Berry on 0413 457 184 or email bdtpsociety@gmail.com for orders. An extra charge of $10 for postage is required.

Tree Society Meeting Times

The tree society committee meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 2-4 p.m. in February, March, May, July, September and November. General meetings are scheduled for June and October. The AGM is held (as always) in November.

The location is Bungalook Nursery in Fulton Road Blackburn South.

Tree society members and the general public are most welcome to attend tree society meetings.

Tree Society Website and Contact Details

Website:                     http://www.bdtps.wordpress.com for information on tree society activities.

Email:                         Contact the tree society on mailto:bdtpsociety@gmail.com

Postal address:         PO Box 5, Nunawading, 3131

COMMITTEE

President             David Berry                      9890 7915 or 0413 457 184

Secretary             Anne Payne                      9878 1152

Treasurer             Mary Crouch                   9894 3025

Member               Ann Clayton                     9878 6585

December 2018 Newsletter

The Tree Society committee wishes all its Members and Friends a happy festive season and a peaceful and prosperous 2019.

Citywide Tree Protection Controls on Private Land in Whitehorse via Significant Landscape Overlay No. 9 (SLO9)

In February 2018 Whitehorse Council established tree controls via SLO9 for ALL of the Whitehorse residential areas apart from those neighbourhoods already covered by Significant Landscape Overlays. This is important and long-awaited initiative was fully supported by the Tree Society and the wider community.
BUT – these municipal tree controls are only interim and expire on 31 December 2018.
Whitehorse council has requested that the State Minister for Planning, The Hon Richard Wynne MP, grant an extension of the interim tree controls to allow Council more time for further information gathering and work to make the case for introducing municipal-wide permanent tree controls in Whitehorse in 2019.

• The Tree Society is requesting that you take action as soon as possible before the end of this month to demonstrate your support for an extension of the interim tree controls until permanent tree controls can be finalized and implemented in the City of Whitehorse.
Please write to and/or email:
The Hon Richard Wynne MP
Minister for Planning
Level 16, 8 Nicholson Street
East Melbourne
Victoria, 3002
Email: richard.wynne@parliament.vic.gov.au

• Let your Whitehorse Councillors know how important these tree controls are for Whitehorse.
Their email addresses are:
Cr Bill Bennett bill.bennett@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Raylene Carr raylene.carr@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Prue Cutts prue.cutts@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Andrew Davenport andrew.davenport@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Sharon Ellis sharon.ellis@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Tina Liu tina.liu@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Denise Massoud denise.massoud@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Andrew Munroe andrew.munroe@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Ben Stennett ben.stennett@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Blair Barker blair.barker@whitehorse.vic.gov.au

• Send a letter to the Whitehorse Leader:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/WhitehorseLeader/community/?ref=page_internal

There are many reasons for supporting permanent tree controls including:
• Trees (and all types of vegetation, indigenous or otherwise) have long been appreciated for their aesthetic, environmental and habitat values in Whitehorse.
• Trees provide shading, decrease cooling costs, protect infrastructure (e.g. buildings, roads and paths), absorb carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and store carbon so they play an important role in helping address global warming.
• There has been a rapid decline of canopy trees in non-Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) areas (and also within SLO precincts) of Whitehorse over the past decade in the name of residential infill and commercial development.
• The now common practice of moonscaping residential sites prior to re-development will continue unabated if citywide tree controls are not kept in place permanently
• A bleak future is guaranteed if global warming continues as predicted with trees and
vegetation crucial in mitigating climate change.
• We need more trees and an increase in the tree canopy in Whitehorse and not the decline currently experienced.
• Provide space for canopy trees and gardens in front and rear setbacks.
• Provide habitat corridors that link parks, reserves and waterways through suburban gardens.
• Increase the desirability of the suburb and provide a premium on property values.
• Encourage lower built form density, as more space is required for canopy trees.
• Provide open ground that allows more infiltration of rainwater into the soil keeping the ground cool and reducing storm water runoff and flooding into streets and creeks.
• Engender aesthetic, environmental and habitat values coveted by Whitehorse residents.
• Encourage a wider diversity of flora and fauna because of available habitat.

The Tree Society Annual Report 2017-2018 & latest updates for November/December 2018

An excellent summary of the Tree Society’s activities for the current year can be found in the attached Annual Report for 2017-2018. Updates for some of the activities over the past month:
• Combined Residents of Whitehorse Action Group (CROWAG) – the group is up and running with many new members, an excellent website and regular monthly meetings. Important issues being addressed include the Whitehorse SLO9 tree controls – conversion from temporary to permanent, deficiencies in the VicSmart fast-track permit system for removing single trees on residential properties and a campaign to increase mandatory fines for the illegal removal of trees.
A meeting between CROWAG committee members and senior Whitehorse Council staff was held in mid-December and regular meetings with senior council officers are scheduled for 2019.
The CROWAG website is http://www.crowag.com.
The tree society is a community group member of CROWAG.
• 199 Canterbury Road Blackburn – tree society members have had two site meetings with the developer and provided feedback on preliminary plans for development of the site.
No plans have yet been placed before Council.
• 203 Canterbury Road Blackburn – a VCAT hearing is scheduled for late March 2019. The tree society will make a presentation at the hearing.
• 245-247 Canterbury Road Blackburn – a planning consultation forum was held on
Wednesday 12 December. The tree society was represented at the forum and voiced
concerns about the imposing built form and excessive building footprint of the proposed
development resulting in a lack of reasonable space for canopy tree placement on site.
• 42-48 Glenburnie Road Mitcham – a VCAT hearing is scheduled for early April 2019. The tree society will make a presentation at the hearing.
• 2 Sergeant Street Blackburn – the society forwarded a submission to Whitehorse Council opposing the high-density residential development highlighting the usable lack of space for suitable soft landscaping including trees.
• 10 Eustace Street Blackburn – the owner/applicant has taken the proposal to VCAT. The
proposed development is a large shed structure with associated loss of trees. The tree
society will make a presentation at the VCAT hearing in mid-May 2019.
• 25 Holland Road Blackburn South – a five-unit double storey planning application is currently before council and the society has opposed the application. Local residents have been very successful in planting out their back gardens abutting 25 Holland Road to compensate for the massive destruction of over twenty mature canopy trees on the site by the developer early in 2018.
• 14 Dickens Street Blackburn – the tree society has forwarded a submission to council
highlighting the loss of indigenous trees and incursion into the tree protection zones for
retained trees associated with this double-storey residential dwelling planning application.
• Masons Road Reserve – the pond plantings are progressing beautifully and the retarding basin perimeter plantings are having a positive impact on the local landscape.
A Xmas get-together is planned for Sunday 16 December in the western section of the
reserve near Lagoona Court/Masons Road. BYO everything.
• The Healesville Freeway Reserve, Forest Hill – contractors have undertaken a massive
planting activity in The Davy Lane area of the freeway reserve over the past few weeks.
18,000 indigenous plants have been planted in a number of large, mulched garden beds from Davy Reserve eastwards to the community gardens. These plants are the major component of an offset planting program, brokered by the tree society, that was successfully negotiated following the loss of so many trees and shrubs with the recent works associated with the Blackburn and Heatherdale level crossing removals.
• A community planting activity at Davy Lane is scheduled for Saturday 15 December from 9am to 12noon followed by a BBQ lunch. Davy Lane is off Jolimont Road in Forest Hill.
• Nunawading Parklands/Junction Road Reserve Nunawading – preliminary work on the
spraying, ripping and mulching of two large beds in the parklands has been completed.
Contractors will be planting 3,000 indigenous plants in the beds and watering them over the summer months. These plants also form part of the offset planting program, brokered by the tree society, to replace the loss of trees and vegetation with the local level crossing removals.
• Wurundjeri Walk Blackburn South – the park turned 30 years old in mid-November with a birthday-in-the-park celebration attended by over 150 people. The park’s 30-year history website and booklet were launched, a ceremonial planting activity held and guided park walks conducted during the afternoon.
• Bungalook Nursery will be holding its Xmas break-up on Friday 14 December from 12 noon at the nursery in Fulton Road Blackburn South.

The Blackburn & District Environment Protection Fund

The Fund, sponsored by the tree society, supports on-ground conservation activities and
environmental education programs in Whitehorse.
Donations can be made by:
o Completing and sending a cheque to the fund at the following address:
BDEPF, PO Box 210, Blackburn, VIC 3130
o Making an on-line donation at http://www.givenow.com.au/cause1518
The fund’s web-site address is http://blackburnenviro.wordpress.com/
The Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society sponsors the Fund.

Can You Help?

We’ve nearly run out of copies of the tree society history book that was released last year. The society is asking for funding support from Members and Friends to print another fifty copies of Fighting for the Trees so that we can provide free copies to schools, libraries, local environmental organizations, community groups and bushland park advisory committees.
Targeted tax-deductible donations can be made to the Blackburn & District Environment Protection Fund by stating that donations are specifically for ‘Tree Society Book Printing’ purposes.
The society needs $1,000 so a $20 donation will print one book (or even better a $100 donation will print five books).
For details regarding donations to the Fund please refer to the previous newsletter article.

We still have a few copies of the history book left:
Fighting for the Trees – the story of the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society is available at $25 per copy for tree society members and $30 for non-members.
Please contact David Berry on 0413 457 184 or email bdtpsociety@gmail.com for orders. An extra charge of $10 for postage is required.

Tree Society Meeting Times
The tree society committee meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 2-4 p.m. in February, March, May, July, September and November. General meetings are scheduled for June and October.
The AGM is held (as always) in November. The location is Bungalook Nursery in Fulton Road Blackburn South. Tree society members and the general public are most welcome to attend tree society meetings.
Tree Society Website and Email Address
Website: refer to http://www.bdtps.wordpress.com for information on tree society activities.
Email: Contact the tree society on mailto:bdtpsociety@gmail.com for all tree-related matters.

 

June 2018 Newsletter

Tree Protection Controls on Private Land in Whitehorse via Significant Landscape Overlay No. 9 (Amendment C191)

Whitehorse Council, via Amendment C191, has recently established tree controls for most of the Whitehorse residential area apart from those neighbourhoods that are already covered by Significant Landscape Overlays.

An article on this topic appeared in the March 2018 edition of the tree society newsletter. This is an important and long-awaited initiative by Council backed by the tree society and the wider community.

HOWEVER – these municipal tree controls are only interim and require review and ratification in December this year subject to further information gathering and liaison with the State Government.

The tree society is requesting that you email all Whitehorse Councillors and show your support for permanent tree controls for the City of Whitehorse.

The Councillors’ email addresses are:

Cr Bill Bennett bill.bennett@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Raylene Carr raylene.carr@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Prue Cutts prue.cutts@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Andrew Davenport andrew.davenport@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Sharon Ellis sharon.ellis@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Tina Liu tina.liu@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Denise Massoud denise.massoud@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Andrew Munroe andrew.munroe@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Ben Stennett ben.stennett@whitehorse.vic.gov.au
Cr Blair Barker blair.barker@whitehorse.vic.gov.au

Some of the reasons you may cite for supporting permanent tree controls include:

  1. Trees (and all types of vegetation, indigenous or otherwise) have long been appreciated for their aesthetic, environmental and habitat values in Whitehorse.
  2. Trees provide shading, decrease cooling costs, protect infrastructure (e.g. buildings, roads and paths), absorb carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and store carbon so they play an important role in helping address global warming.
  3. There has been a rapid decline of canopy trees in non-Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) areas (and also within SLO precincts) of Whitehorse over the past decade in the name of residential infill and commercial development.
  4. The now common practice of moonscaping residential sites prior to re-development will continue unabated if citywide tree controls are not kept in place permanently
  5. A bleak future is guaranteed if global warming continues as predicted with trees and vegetation crucial in mitigating climate change.
  6. We need more trees and an increase in the tree canopy in Whitehorse and not the decline currently experienced.

North East Link and Potential Impacts on Whitehorse

The society was unsuccessful in its application for membership of the North East Link (NEL) Community Liaison Group (CLG).

This means that there is no community organization officially represented on the NEL CLG to advocate for the preservation of the natural values in the Whitehorse municipality, in the face of their possible destruction by the NEL works.

Issues of particular concern include:

  • The NEL construction works will negatively impact the Eastern Freeway from Bulleen Road to the Ringwood tunnels. For example, according to the NEL authority’s ‘design schematic’ drawings, the section of the Eastern Freeway between Station Street and Middleborough Road will increase from the current 8 lanes (4 each way) to 16 or more lanes with the proposed modified on- and off-roads included. This means that the trees and associated vegetation in the freeway reserve will make way for bitumen surfaces.

But it gets worse!

  • Doubling the freeway width will require the destruction of adjacent parklands and open space on both sides of the freeway from Bulleen Road through Mont Albert North, Box Hill North, Blackburn North, Nunawading and Mitcham.

Parks adjacent to the freeway now under threat include Koonung Reserve, Koonung Creek Reserve, Manningham Park Reserve, Koonung Creek Linear Park (incorporating Koonung Creek Trail), Stanton Street Reserve, Elgar Park, Frank Sedgman Reserve, Eram Park, Boronia Grove Reserve, Nunawading Parklands, Eastern Freeway Linear Reserve, Slater Reserve and Oxford Street Reserve

  • The lovely Koonung Creek waterway will likely become a barrel drain and the associated wetlands will be destroyed
  • The main north-south roads in Whitehorse will require major widening works to cope with the projected increase in traffic volumes. These roads include Elgar Road, Station Street, Middleborough Road, Surrey/Blackburn Road and Springvale Road.

The tree society will continue to advocate for the preservation of these natural assets on the northern border of Whitehorse and actively lobby to minimize through traffic chaos on our major north-south roads.

Please join us by taking the following actions now:

Contact the North East Link Authority to voice your concerns:

   Email them at community@northeastlink.vic.gov.au or telephone 1800 105 105.

Or on social media:  Facebook        Twitter           Instagram

Recent VCAT hearings for Contentious Development Proposals in Blackburn

  • A Win for the Community – VCAT knocks back the childcare development proposal for 199 Canterbury Road

Whitehorse Council, the ‘SLOG’ residents’ collective ably led by Dianne Tribe, BVRG and the tree society made presentations opposing this development proposal at a VCAT hearing in mid-April.

The panel members released their findings in mid-May and affirmed support for council’s decision to not grant a permit for the childcare centre.

In the VCAT report the panel members emphasized Blackburn’s distinctive landscape character, its ‘bush environment’ and the mature indigenous trees dominating the neighbourhood.

The members accepted that a childcare centre was not an inappropriate development for the site and that the current development proposal’s design was an improvement on the previous application.

However the panel concluded that the proposal could not provide a suitable landscape outcome because the scale of the building and play areas: ‘… does not provide for sufficient space for appropriate tree retention and planting of new canopy trees in a manner that respects the area’s character and its distinctive landscape attributes …’

This decision vindicates all of the work done by council and the community in fighting to protect the landscape character of Significant Landscape Overlay areas within Whitehorse. But the community must remain vigilant, as more medium-density development proposals will be placed before council for 199 Canterbury Road as well as the neighbouring properties at 201 and 203 Canterbury Road in the near future.

These sites will be developed (and need to be re-planted with canopy trees as they have been slowly denuded of their vegetation over time) but if the proposals don’t meet the spirit and practice of the relevant clauses of the Whitehorse Planning Scheme (i.e. Neighbourhood Residential Zone and Significant Landscape Overlay) they will be actively opposed by the tree society.

  • 20-24 Masons Road – Impact of construction works on neighbour’s significant tree at 18 Masons Road

The VCAT Hearing for this issue was held in mid-May.

Council, the tree society, BVRG and local resident and tree society member Dianne Tribe made presentations. The VCAT determination is scheduled for late June.

Hopefully the tree remains minimally damaged by the construction works and can be retained for the rest of its useful life of 25-50 years.

  • 10 Eustace Street – Large garage construction with significant loss of trees

The applicant withdrew from the planned VCAT Hearing with the hearing being cancelled as a consequence.

Bouquets and Brickbats to Council in the 2018-19 Whitehorse City Council Draft Budget

  • Bouquets
    • $80,000 has been allocated to purchase a tree canopy assessment software tool so that the city’s tree canopy can be measured to assess canopy gain or loss and also to benchmark against neigbouring councils.
    • Council’s Tree Education Officer position will become permanent.
    • Council’s ‘Garden for Wildlife’ program is proving very popular with Whitehorse residents and will be continued through the 2018-19 year.
    • Congratulations to council for committing to spend ~ $1.7M on strategic land acquisitions in the city with funding sourced from the Whitehorse Public Open Space Reserve.
  • Brickbats
    • At the moment Whitehorse has less tree canopy cover compared with Manningham, Boroondara and Maroondah councils – so we’re not as ‘green and leafy’ after all!
    • Council has budgeted $300,000 for the city’s street tree planting program for 2018-19 – an amount that is the same as that allocated in the 2006-07 year. There has been no real increase in funding for over thirteen years, not even an allowance made for inflation! And it’s not as if we have a surfeit in street trees in Whitehorse, as many streets are tree-deficient as evidenced in the March newsletter article on this issue. We need more money and resources put into the street tree program to enhance the city’s tree canopy cover.
  • Council forecasts an amount in excess of $40,000,000 in the Public Open Space Reserve Fund for the 2018-19 Budget year (with $64,000,000 forecast for 2021-22). A significant surge in fund deposits is predicted over the next few years due to the increased developer contributions resulting from the burgeoning medium and high density infill developments within Whitehorse (including the massive high-rise building construction in the Box Hill Municipal Activity Centre).

This amount is substantial but council is slow in using the money to purchase much-needed strategic parcels of land to create open spaces and parklands for the residents of Whitehorse.

The most neglected areas for open space are in the Box Hill area.

A couple of suggestions:

  • Convert the council-owned Box Hill Bowling Club site into a small park or large plaza to benefit Box Hill’s high-rise dwellers
  • Purchase the historic Box Hill Brickworks site, clean it up and develop the land as a municipal park and recreation centre by amalgamating the park with Surrey Dive, Surrey Park and Aqualink Box Hill. 

Masons Road Reserve Blackburn – Report on the May Planting Activity

Fifteen local residents attended a planting activity in Mason Road Reserve on Saturday morning 19th May 2018.

Over 140 indigenous plants suited to boggy conditions were planted in the pond near Lagoona Court and Masons Road (now known as the ‘Lagoona Pond’).

The plants were sourced from WCIPP Bungalook nursery via an environmental grant from the Blackburn and District Environment Protection Fund.

David Berry and Mary Crouch provided the planting tools and Mary Crouch and Dianne Tribe provided morning-tea.

Another activity is planned for Saturday 30 June from 9.30-11.30 am with weeding and we’ll be planting in and around the two ponds within the retarding basin.

In addition Nathan Mattinson from Melbourne Water has been contacted regarding the possible replacement of the 100 or so plants lost over summer from the original 550 plants planted around the bowl of the retarding basin. Nathan will be organizing the replacement of these plants and removal of some of the plant guards that are restricting plant growth.

Update on the re-planting of residential gardens around 25 Holland Road Blackburn South

Local residents and the tree society have undertaken a re-planting project in residential gardens surrounding 25 Holland Road to replace twenty-five trees maliciously cut down by the owner-developer in 2017.

The Blackburn and District Environment Protection Fund has awarded a $500 environmental grant to purchase indigenous plants from Bungalook community nursery. So far upwards of sixty small trees and shrubs have been planted in five properties surrounding 25 Holland Road, with another fifty plants to be planted in the neighbouring Chinese Church grounds within the next few weeks.

Tree and Vegetation Removal at 21 Laurel Grove North, Blackburn

In early March over a dozen significant trees were cut down at 21 Laurel Grove, North Blackburn, which, along with a general clearing of understory shrubs, resulted in a near moonscaping of the block to the detriment of the neighbourhood’s natural landscape values.

This property should have been afforded the highest priority for its bushland landscape character as entrenched in the Whitehorse Planning Scheme via its location in a Neighbourhood Residential Zone (No. 1, ‘Bush Environment’) with the added protection of Significant Landscape Overlay No. 1.

In addition, the property is located in one of Blackburn’s National Trust-classified streets.

With little in the way of residents’ consultation or works notification from council and a community perception that the tree and vegetation removal process was ‘fast-tracked’, the resultant community anger was widespread, immediate and totally justified. A storm of letters and emails to councillors and senior council officers over the past three months has done little to allay community concerns.

The tree society views this specific act as unjustified and the planning process lacking in transparency. There is also a concern that this case will set a precedent for further destruction of trees and vegetation within these precious bushland neighbourhoods in the future.

The tree society fully supports the local community in their endeavours to arrest the canopy loss in the Bellbird area of Blackburn.

The society has voiced its concerns to council since mid-March 2018. Our most recent correspondence was forwarded to council on 1 May and so far we haven’t received any acknowledgement or response to the letter.

The society will continue to seek clarification of this issue from council.

The Blackburn & District Environment Protection Fund

The Fund, sponsored by the tree society, supports on-ground conservation activities and environmental education programs in Whitehorse.

Current environmental grants are supporting planting activities at Masons Road Reserve, Blackburn and in residential gardens surrounding 25 Holland Road in Blackburn South. Funding has also been pledged to support Council’s Gardens for Wildlife program for 2018.

Donations can be made by:

  • Completing and sending a cheque to the fund at the following address: BDEPF, PO Box 210, Blackburn, VIC 3130

The fund’s web-site address is http://blackburnenviro.wordpress.com/

The Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society sponsors the Fund.

Can You Help?

We’ve nearly run out of copies of the tree society history book that was released last year. The society is asking for funding support from Members and Friends to print another fifty copies of Fighting for the Trees so that we can provide free copies to schools, libraries, local environmental organizations, community groups and bushland park advisory committees.

Targeted tax-deductible donations can be made to the Blackburn & District Environment Protection Fund by stating that donations are specifically for ‘Tree Society Book Printing’ purposes.

The society needs $1,000 so a $20 donation will print one book (or even better a $100 donation will print five books).

For details regarding donations to the Fund please refer to the previous newsletter article.

We still have a few copies of the history book left:

Fighting for the Trees – the story of the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society is available at $25 per copy for tree society members and $30 for non-members.

Please contact David Berry on 0413 457 184 or email bdtpsociety@gmail.com for orders. An extra charge of $10 for postage is required.

Planting in Nunawading Parklands

Nunawading Parklands (Melway 48 F/6) is an eleven-hectare open space in Nunawading.

In 2016 the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) pledged an offset planting project to plant 24,000 indigenous plants in the Junction Road/Nunawading Parklands. This was compensation for the destruction of hundreds of mature trees and shrubs, many of them indigenous species, resulting from the railway level crossing removal works at Blackburn and Heatherdale Roads.

Mary Crouch and David Berry met with LXRA officials in late March 2018.

Notable meeting outcomes included:

  • 18,000 indigenous trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs have been propagated and will be planted this year
  • The tree society and the Friends of Nunawading Parklands have been allocated one of the seven planting sites on the land for community planting activities. The bed is close to the western end of Spencer Street Nunawading and 1,400 plants have been allocated for the site. We will inform members of planting activity dates when the beds have been prepared – probably in July-August this year
  • Tenders have been sought from commercial operators to plant the remaining 16,600 plants in the park.

Victorian Local Government Bill Exposure Draft

In mid-March 2018 the tree society made a formal submission in response to the release of the Exposure Draft of the Victorian Local Government Bill. The submission was developed in partnership with the Blackburn Village Residents Group (BVRG Inc.) and Whitehorse Active Transport Action Group (WATAG Inc.).

The Draft Bill seeks to:

  • Provide a better understanding of the role of councils as democratically elected bodies
  • Encourage Victorians to participate more as candidates, voters and citizens in council activities and contribute to council strategic visions and plans
  • Drive more autonomous and outcome focused councils
  • Encourage Councils to embrace innovative and collaborative arrangements that increase organisational efficiency and deliver public value for residents
  • Provide a sound framework for the sector to become more efficient and enterprising in local governance.

The combined submission stressed that the Act in its current iteration is ambiguous and inconsistent, unnecessarily prescriptive, unwieldy, not particularly user-friendly and in some cases redundant and requires substantial reform to produce a contemporary, accessible Act written in plain English.

The submission endorses the provision for a new governance framework, a key feature of the Bill, that will more clearly define council outcomes and help reverse the widening disconnect between local government and its constituents as observed by many community groups and individuals interacting with local government.

We believe that the Bill will direct local governments in Victoria to be more transparent, collaborative, responsive, professional and with a much-improved governance for their constituents into the future. The Bill will also more closely connect councils with their communities by actively facilitating community and individual participation in the council decision-making process.

The society, along with BVRG and WATAG anticipates that the new local Government Act will be enthusiastically embraced by Whitehorse Council and calls for diligent State government oversight to make sure that the spirit and practice of the proposed reforms in the new Bill will be fully actioned by all Victorian councils in a timely manner.

Western Highway Duplication near Ararat

An article on the environmental effects of these proposed road works was published in the tree society’s March 2018 newsletter. The article provided information on the negative environmental effects of the proposed route through farmland and the proponents’ advocacy for a ‘Northern Option’ for the highway duplication between Buangor and Ararat.

Refer to the March newsletter for the full article.

In the intervening period another environmental advocacy group opposed to the ‘Northern Option’ has contacted the society.

Please note that both groups are opposed to any roadworks that destroy significant remnant bushland, including large, old, significant Eucalypts.

The question however remains – if the road duplication is a fait accompli, which route will minimize environmental degradation, whether it be on public or private land?

In the interests of fairness and balance the tree society committee has published an alternative view of the proposed road works’ route authored by the Western Highway Conservation Group as follows:

‘… The Western Highway Duplication near Ararat: why residents’ “Northern Option” doesn’t make ecological sense.

An article on the Western Highway Duplication in the March 2018 Tree Society Newsletter contains a number of inaccuracies. Local residents in the Mt Langi Ghiran area who are experiencing property severance have mounted a vigorous and spirited campaign to defend their land. This is understandable. However, their proposal of a “Northern Option” is unfortunately as bad if not worse, ecologically speaking, than the route which is on the cusp of being built.

 Residents propose using a narrow powerline easement adjacent to the current highway. This area is home to unique and diverse remnant vegetation. The poor soil quality there has generated a correspondingly species-rich heathy woodland community which is uncommon compared with the rest of the nearby Mt Langi Ghiran vegetation. Rather, it is similar to some woodlands found in the distant West Wimmera. It is home to an unnamed species of Melaleuca, a rare Grevillia and significant populations of the rare Emerald-lip Greenhood. It also shares a large, healthy population of sugar gliders with those on the other side of the highway. Further roadworks in the area, which the residents propose, would decimate the population.

 The residents’ solution would see the loss of exquisitely vegetated roadsides adjacent to the powerline in the vicinity of Mt Langi Ghiran. These roadsides are of Very High Conservation status, are continuous and are an extension of the vegetation from the mountain, which is essential for maintaining a vibrant habitat. While some of the farmland in question has some good remnants, they are in patches only and less well connected to the core of Mt Langi Ghiran. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) recognised this too: hence the approval of the alignment through residents’ farmland which is further away; sad though it is for the latter.

 David Leviston

Western Highway Conservation Group

26 March 2018 …’

Tree Society Meeting Times

The tree society committee meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 2-4 p.m. in February, March, May, July, September and November. General meetings are scheduled for June and October.

The AGM is held (as always) in November. The location is Bungalook Nursery in Fulton Road Blackburn South. Tree society members and the general public are most welcome to attend tree society meetings.

Tree Society Website and Email Address

Website: refer to http://www.bdtps.wordpress.com for information on tree society activities.

Email: Contact the tree society on mailto:bdtpsociety@gmail.com for all tree-related matters.

 

March 2018 Newsletter

Tree Protection Controls on Private Land in Whitehorse – Municipal Wide Significant Landscape Overlay (Amendment C191)

It’s been a long time coming (the process was initiated in late 2015), but we finally have tree protection controls for residential properties for the greater part of Whitehorse. Thanks to Council, local community groups and individuals for their perseverance and persistence in making this important initiative a reality.

The relevant document, Amendment C191, applies a citywide Significant Landscape Overlay to all residential land in Whitehorse not currently included in a Significant Landscape Overlay. The new overlay is in place, on an interim basis, from 8 February until 31 December 2018. The amendment is designed to prevent the unauthorized removal of large, established trees and provide more protection for the landscape character of Whitehorse.

However, the tree society has a number of concerns that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency (apart from answering the obvious question as to why it took so long for the State Government Planning Minister to ratify and gazette the Amendment):

1. The tree controls are interim only until end-December 2018. Why is this interim requirement necessary and is this enough time to decide whether the tree controls are having any effect?

2. Has Council budgeted for the increase in personnel, time and resources necessary to administer the tree control for this interim period? We hope the amendment has not been set up to fail!

3. Why are the permit triggers for tree removal via this amendment much more lax than for the existing Significant Landscape Overlay areas (e.g. SLO1 and 2)? The new controls require a permit to remove a tree that has a single trunk circumference greater than 1.0 metre at a height of one metre above ground level, whereas for SLO1 and SLO2 areas the permit trigger is a circumference greater than 0.5 metres. One can argue that the accelerated loss of trees/tree canopy and the common practice of ‘moonscaping’ in the non-protected Whitehorse suburbs requires at least the same protection as for those suburbs that have enjoyed tree controls for many years. By way of example, a large site in an SLO2 area, currently subject to a VCAT hearing, has 24 trees on or adjacent to the site that are greater than 0.5 metres in trunk circumference and thus require a council permit for their removal. If the same property was located in the new tree control area only 15 of the trees would require a permit prior to their removal – an almost 40% reduction. This won’t help to address the massive tree losses in the city at large.

4. Tree controls must be extended to provide urgent protection for younger and smaller growing trees; otherwise tree density, tree canopy cover and mature tree ‘succession’ is compromised on private land. It is farcical that Council can require a homeowner to plant more trees following the removal of large specimens, but then provide only limited protection for the youngsters to grow to maturity so that they can replace the mature trees in time.

5. How will Council measure the effectiveness of the new tree controls? The tree society urges Council to adopt a municipal tree canopy assessment tool to provide an objective measurement of the city’s tree canopy over time. Such a tool already exists and is discussed in a report: Benchmarking Australia’s Tree Canopy: An i-Tree Assessment, 2014, authored by the Institute of Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney.

The new controls via Amendment C191 apply to most of the residential land in Whitehorse, and more specifically all residential land in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone, General Residential Zone, Residential Growth Zone and Low Density Residential Zone that is not already covered by an overlay. Please note that these interim controls do not change the zoning of any land in Whitehorse. Council has recently notified relevant landowners by letter of their obligations under Amendment C191 regarding these new tree controls. Owners unsure as to which residential zone and/or overlay applies to their neighbourhood can refer to the following link for details: http://www.whitehorse.vic.gov.au/Whitehorse-Maps.html.

In essence Amendment C191 means that a Council permit is now required to remove, destroy or lop a tree on private property. This does not apply to:

• A tree less than 5m in height and having a single trunk circumference of 1.0 metre or less at a height of one metre above ground level (NB: 1 metre circumference = ~ 32 centimetres diameter or around two hand-spans, or

• The pruning of a tree for regeneration or ornamental shaping; or

• A tree which is dead or dying or has become dangerous to the satisfaction of the responsible authority;

• A tree outside the Minimum Street Setback in the Residential Growth Zone. This means that any tree that has a trunk circumference of greater than 1.0m at 1.0m from the ground and/or a height of 5 metres or more requires a planning permit before it can be removed. A permit is not required to remove a dead, dying or dangerous tree to the satisfaction of Council. Further information can be obtained on Council’s website or by contacting Council’s Planning and Building department on 9262 6303.

North East Link and Potential Impacts on Whitehorse

In February 2018 the society applied for membership of the North East Link (NEL) Community Liaison Group. We need a seat at the table as we:

• Have a keen interest in the natural landscape from Greensborough to Bulleen including the Watsonia Army Barracks site and the Yarra River Valley/Banyule Flats and

• Are vitally concerned about the impacts of the construction works on the Eastern Freeway from Bulleen Road to the Ringwood tunnels, and on adjacent parklands and open space in Mont Albert North, Box Hill North, Blackburn North, Nunawading and Mitcham.

We also fear that the main north-south roads in Whitehorse will require major widening works to cope with the projected increase in traffic volumes. These roads include Elgar Road, Station Street (where new on- and off-ramps will probably need to be built), Middleborough Road, Surrey/Blackburn Road and Springvale Road.

The following vehicles are prohibited from being driven through the EastLink tunnels:

• Vehicles exceeding 4.65m in height will be automatically detected and stopped from entering the tunnel by boom gates

• Vehicles required to display a placard must never use a tunnel and will be stopped if detected, and

• Vehicles considered to be Over Dimensional by VicRoads must use OD1 to by-pass the tunnels.

Therefore, following construction of the North East Link, it is anticipated that the substantial increase in trucks turning east from the NEL onto the Eastern Freeway will be travelling along Springvale Road, Maroondah Highway and Burwood Highway to bypass the tunnels i.e. through the eastern part of Whitehorse.

The tree society is vitally interested in the mitigation of construction impacts on the natural landscape of these areas and the enhancement of parklands and open spaces adjoining the Eastern Freeway and associated major north-south feeder roads. Should our application be successful, we will provide community input, advocacy and regular feedback on the planning and construction of the North East Link.

A community workshop, attended by David Berry, was held at the Veneto Club in Bulleen on Tuesday 27 February. David attended the ‘Our Environment’ conversation stream with thirty other people who were similarly concerned about the environmental impacts of the freeway construction.

We’ll keep you posted as to the success or otherwise for our application for membership of the NEL Community Liaison Group.

Pending VCAT hearings for Contentious Development Proposals in Blackburn

• 199 Canterbury Road – Childcare Development Proposal

A VCAT-convened Compulsory Conference, held on 13th February, was attended by all parties to discuss and decide whether the VCAT hearing scheduled for 9-11 April will go ahead. After a lengthy 5-hour session the conference was adjourned until 6 March, to give the developer time to prepare amended plans that would decrease the building footprint, separate the retained trees from the play spaces, make provision for five more large canopy trees and allow VicRoads to complete and circulate a traffic report.

Apparently, according to Council and the VCAT Member, the glut of childcare centres in Blackburn/Forest Hill (with more being built) and client parking in Lagoona Street and on Canterbury Road, are not considered major impediments to the granting of the development proposal. A cursory examination of the amended plans received on Wednesday 28 February has not persuaded the tree society (or BVRG or the local residents’ group) to settle the case at the reconvened conference on Tuesday 6 March. In fact the plans are worse than the originals, the amended Landscape Planting Plan is unfinished and no VicRoads traffic report had been circulated by the weekend of 3 and 4 March.

• 20-24 Masons Road – Impact of construction works on neighbour’s significant tree at 18 Masons Road

Earlier in 2017 the owner at 20-24 Masons Road excavated within 2 metres (and into the root zone) of a mature, significant, protected Eucalyptus melliodora (Yellow Box) to construct a shed without obtaining a planning permit. He then obtained an arborist report that concluded the tree was unsafe due to root damage. Apparently, the owner of 20-24 Masons Road now contends that the tree is safe and can be retained along with the illegally constructed shed. The matter is now going to a VCAT Hearing in May and the tree society will make a presentation.

• 10 Eustace Street – Large garage construction with significant loss of trees

A planning application for the construction of a huge shed and associated access driveway requiring the removal of ten trees has now gone to VCAT with a Hearing date yet to be announced. The tree society has put in a Statement of Grounds to VCAT, opposing the development application, and will make a presentation at the Hearing.

How Can We Increase the Tree Canopy in Whitehorse in One Easy Step?

Answer: Plant at least one street tree in the nature-strip for every residential frontage throughout the City.

Case Study: Branksome Grove (Melway 61 H-1) in Blackburn South is 400 metres long with 40 residences having a front or side boundary onto the street and a small neighbourhood park halfway along on the western side. A recent walk through assessment of the street trees showed a deficiency in the streetscape of twenty or more street trees. About half of the properties in Branksome Grove have street trees on their front or side boundaries; many of those properties do have small trees or shrubs, but they do little for the canopy cover of the area. This is not good enough and requires urgent action by Council. Branksome Grove is not an isolated tree-deficient streetscape; many streets in Blackburn South and other Whitehorse suburbs have similar streetscape deficits. So come on Whitehorse Council – let’s have a 5-year plan to make it happen; a street tree outside every house in the city by the end of 2022. And while we’re at it let’s provide incentives for residents to plant two or more trees in their nature-strips and/or convert their nature-strips into native gardens, community vegie patches or herb gardens!

Masons Road Reserve Blackburn – Park activity 9.30-11.30 am, Saturday 17 March 2018  Local residents are invited to the second major park activity for Mason Road Reserve to be held on Saturday 17 March from 9.30-11.30 am. We will be weeding the three ponds and their environ,s and checking out the other plants that were planted in Spring 2017 by Melbourne Water and the community. If the weather breaks beforehand we may even be planting again in and around the ponds. Please meet near the ‘Lagoona’ Pond at the end of Masons Road at 9.30 am and bring gloves, a kneeling mat, small gardening fork or weed digger, water and sunscreen. A couple of smaller working bees have been held this year to remove the weeds (mainly Kikuyu) that are running rampant in the ‘Lagoona’ Pond. We need to start up a dedicated local ‘Friends’ group to provide stewardship for the ponds and reserve in general. Nathan Mattinson, the Waterways and Land Officer at Melbourne Water, will be attending the activity and we will ask him about Friends groups for other Melbourne Water assets in the Melbourne metropolitan area. Hope to see Tree Society members at the activity on the 17th March. We will be asking the Blackburn & District Environment Protection Fund and Council to provide funding or indigenous plants for winter planting activities in the park.

25 Holland Road Blackburn South – Planting in Residential Gardens  Because the developer tore down around 25 mature trees from this site, for no reason, last year, local residents and the tree society decided to initiate a re-planting project to plant trees and shrubs in residential gardens abutting the now bare site at 25 Holland Road, in order to replace this lost canopy. The Blackburn and District Environment Protection Fund has pledged $500 to purchase indigenous plants from Bungalook community nursery to achieve this outcome.

Project Update: The tree society has completed six site inspections and developed planting plans for the properties. Over one hundred plants have been ordered for planting in the gardens of four of these properties in autumn/winter of this year. The plants for two of the properties were planted in late spring last year. The largest impact will be produced by the planting of fifty indigenous and native plants, including fourteen trees, in the southern garden border of the Chinese Church, which shares a long boundary with 25 Holland Road.

Recognition for Local Environmental Advocates

David Inglis – Whitehorse Citizen of the Year 2018

David has been a member of the Wandinong Sanctuary Advisory Committee since 1974 and was the committee’s long-term treasurer until 2017. David attends monthly working bees and provides special attention to the plants in summer. David is also a long-serving member of the tree society. He has been a volunteer driver for the Eastern Transport Register and has also been involved in Neighbourhood Watch for more than 30 years. Congratulations David on being the Whitehorse Citizen of the Year for 2018.

Cecily Falkingham – Whitehorse Community Achievement Award for 2018

Cecily’s expertise as a naturalist has resulted in her playing important roles as advocate and teacher in environmental sustainability and protection for many years. She has been co-opted on to many environmental group committees and has worked closely with all tiers of government on environmental projects. Cecily leads nature walks of the Mullum Mullum Valley and continues to provide her expertise to land managers on conservation issues. Congratulations, Cecily, on your Whitehorse Community Achievement Award for 2018.

Anne Payne

Anne, currently the tree society secretary, is something of a community superstar in Whitehorse. She was Whitehorse Citizen of the Year in 2016 and has recently been featured in the March 2018 edition of the Whitehorse News. Anne is actively involved at Blackburn Lake Sanctuary as Chairman of the Advisory Committee and Visitor Centre, visitor centre volunteer coordinator and sanctuary education program volunteer. She is also an active volunteer for the Blackburn branch of the Red Cross and the Uniting Care East Burwood Centre. If this isn’t enough, Anne, along with Mary Crouch (see next article) and Amanda Simpson regularly work in McCubbin Park, Blackburn and the ‘Espe’ in Mitcham to preserve and enhance the bush remnants and keep the weeds at bay. Phew – no time to rest for Anne!

Mary Crouch

Friends and colleagues of tree society committee member and Treasurer Mary Crouch ‘ambushed’ her in the Creeklands during a working-bee a few weeks ago, on the occasion of her birthday. A surprise morning-tea was held to honour Mary – a tireless worker and advocate for the betterment of our local environment. Mary is so ecologically important that she lends herself to botanical description: Mary Crouch: A Rare Species

Description: Passionate advocate for the natural environment; decisive & task oriented; hard working and a great compadre

Size: None of your business!

Habitat: Dry & Valley Sclerophyll Forest

Form: Upright with grey-green foliage and indistinct flowers

Requirements: Loves remnant areas, but also thrives in weedy patches; tolerates soils drying out in summer and boggy in winter; a great companion for indigenous plants

Propagation: ‘One of a kind’, but early cloning trials are promising

Localities: Largely confined to the eastern suburbs of Melbourne (Blackburn, Mitcham and Nunawading), however, occasional sightings in Geelong and Jolimont, mainly in the winter months (subject takes on a bluish-white hue)

Distribution: Victoria only

ULE (Useful Life Expectancy): 100+ years

The Blackburn & District Environment Protection Fund

The tree society urges all members to dig deep and make regular donations to the Blackburn & District Environment Protection Fund. The Fund supports on-ground conservation activities and children’s environmental education programs in Whitehorse.

So far, in the 2017-2018 financial year, three environmental grants have been made available for planting indigenous plants, at Orchard Grove Primary School (Blackburn South), Masons Road Reserve (Blackburn) and in residential gardens surrounding 25 Holland Road in Blackburn South. Funding has also been pledged to support Council’s Gardens for Wildlife program for 2018.

Donations can be made by:

o Completing and sending a cheque to the fund at the following address: BDEPF, PO Box 210, Blackburn, VIC 3130

o Making an on-line donation at http://www.givenow.com.au/cause1518 The fund’s web-site address is http://blackburnenviro.wordpress.com/ The Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society sponsors the Fund.

Western Highway Duplication near Ararat: Massive Tree and Habitat Loss planned by VicRoads and opposed by the Local and Wider Community

VicRoads is duplicating sections of the highway between Ballarat and Ararat. Local community environmental advocates argue that the chosen route from Buangor to Ararat will cause massive damage to the environment, an assertion supported by professional reports, including those from Ecology Australia, and from VicRoads’ own consultant, Biosis. Locals are proposing an alternative route, the ‘Northern Option’, that will result in much less environmental damage.

The VicRoads preferred route means:

• An estimated extra million cubic metres of earth disturbed during construction

• An extra flyover bridge

• More off-ramps, with traffic pushed onto quiet roads bordered by threatened ecological communities and vegetation, including significant trees

• 3.5 kilometres of exposed cutting high along a ridge-side, visible for fifty kilometres

• The loss of ninety-four Large Old Trees, four times more than on the community’s preferred route, and including one with a spectacular hollow.

• Greater loss of protected habitats (31.1 hectares), plant communities and remnant vegetation

• The creation of fragmented ‘islands’ of remnant vegetation

• The destruction of significant, heritage trees of local aboriginal cultural significance.

Despite professional evidence and public opposition, VicRoads is determined to proceed on the chosen route. Locals have already taken VicRoads to court, and at the eleventh hour the state Planning Minister stepped in to exempt the case from democratic process, under Section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act.

The local environmental advocacy group has a website at: https://www.fixfreewayfiasco.org

The group is seeking donations, asking people to sign their petition and suggesting that the issue be publicized widely. The group hopes that VicRoads and the State Government will see the error of their ways and choose to use their ‘Northern Option’, thereby saving many large old trees and protected habitat.

Are you able to help them?

New Guidelines for the Removal, Destruction or Lopping of Native Vegetation

The State Government gazetted a planning amendment in December 2017 that adds a new reference document to local planning schemes.

One of the important inclusions in the new guidelines is that offset plantings (to compensate for native vegetation losses in any development) are required to be more local, which the tree society fully endorses. To quote from the guidelines:

‘Vicinity – The offset must be located within the same Catchment Management Authority boundary or municipal district as the native vegetation to be removed. This maintains a link between the location of the offset and the site of the native vegetation to be removed.’

Thanks to David Morrison, tree society member and BVRG Secretary, for referring this article to the committee.

Reforming the Victorian Planning Provisions – Tree Society Survey Response

The society completed a comprehensive on-line survey on the review and discussion paper for this initiative in November last year.

The society agrees that the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPP) documentation is lengthy, unwieldy and not user friendly in its current iteration. However any structural review that streamlines and simplifies the assessment pathways must not dilute the powers of Councils to preserve and enhance the unique neighbourhood and natural landscape character within their domains for the benefit of their residents.

This applies specifically in relation to provisions concerning the natural environment and landscape character.

The society considers that the VPP is pro-development and construction-driven, with scant regard for the preservation and enhancement of the natural landscape that form the interstices between built structures. We are losing our trees and canopy cover, vegetation and open spaces to the human-dominated built-form. This is already compromising quality of life issues for people living in urban areas and shows no signs of abatement. Any major review of the VPP must include tree and vegetation planning, preservation and enhancement provisions, including a meaningful requirement for the provision of adequate open spaces for passive recreational pursuits on private property and the provision of low-stress, high connectivity links for walkers and cyclists on land in the public domain. The tree society committee fears that the VPP reform initiative has a barely concealed objective of providing open slather to all types of inappropriate development in urban precincts.

The tree society is particularly concerned with the development and application of secondary dwelling and small lot standards and how they will impact on residential amenity and local landscape character. Tree canopy maintenance and enhancement is a crucial consideration here – trees need sufficient space to thrive.

The tree society is opposed to any review of the existing residential zones that dilute the current permit requirements for lot size permit triggers for the Schedules for Neighbourhood Residential Zones (NRZ1, NRZ2, NRZ3 and NRZ4) in the current Whitehorse Planning Scheme. Likewise the society opposes the dilution of the intent and function of the specific overlay provisions and Schedules with particular reference to Significant Landscape Overlays, Environmental Significance Overlays, Vegetation Protection Overlays and Heritage & Built Form Overlays.

Feedback Requested on the Victorian Local Government Bill Exposure Draft

The release of the Exposure Draft of the Victorian Local Government Bill marks the final stage of public consultation on the Local Government Act Review before the Bill enters the Parliament. The Draft Bill seeks to:

• Provide a better understanding of the role of Councils as democratically elected bodies

• Encourage Victorians to participate more as candidates, voters and citizens in council activities and contributing to Council strategic visions and plans

• Drive more autonomous and outcome focused Councils

• Encourage Councils to embrace innovative and collaborative arrangements that increase organisational efficiency and deliver public value for residents

• Provide a sound framework for the sector to become more efficient and enterprising in local governance.

The closing date for submissions has been extended to Friday 16 March at 5pm.

The tree society is in the process of developing a submission on behalf of the tree society. Councils, peak bodies and all other interested stakeholders are encouraged to make a submission and all submissions will inform the final drafting of the Bill.

There are three ways to make a submission

1. Online by uploading submissions to the http://www.yourcouncilyourcommunity.vic.gov.au website

2. Emailing submissions to local.government@delwp.vic.gov.au(External link)

3. Posting submissions to: Local Government Act Review Secretariat C/o Local Government Victoria, PO Box 500, Melbourne VIC 3002

2018 Mullum Mullum Festival

The 2018 Mullum Mullum Festival will be held on the week-ends of 28-29 April and 5-6 May. The first event, on the evening of 28th April will be a spotlighting walk led by Ray Gibson. This will be followed, on 29th April, by the official opening with Aboriginal workshops, music and displays at Yarran Dheran Reserve. There will also be nature walks with leaders who speak Mandarin and Arabic. Copies of the full program will be available in libraries and other public spaces in the near future.

Eileen McKee

The death of Life Member, Eileen McKee, took place in the first week of March, at the age of 95. Eileen will be remembered for her involvement in many enviromental activities over many years. A major involvement was as a staff member of the Victorian National Parks Association.

Future Cities: Planning for our Growing Population (Infrastructure Australia)

This paper, released in February 2018, is the fifth paper in Infrastructure Australia’s Reform Series. It provides advice to governments on improving the productivity and liveability of the largest cities including Melbourne and Sydney into the future. The paper compares the performance of three hypothetical scenarios for Melbourne by modelling their respective impacts on the performance of the city’s infrastructure. It provides evidence of the trade-offs that face Australia’s largest cities over the next 30 years, and presents an urban reform agenda for Australian governments.

See the full report plus interactive maps and downloads at: http://infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/policy-publications/publications/future-cities.aspx

A recent article in The Age provides an excellent introduction to the report’s findings and recommendations. Refer to ‘Melbourne’s Liveability Choice: Soar like Manhattan or Sprawl like LA’ at the following link: https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/melbourne-s-liveability-choice-soar-like-manhattan-or-sprawl-like-la-20180222-p4z1b5.html

The report’s Interactive Maps are especially informative, with predictions made on the impacts in five critical areas for three scenarios compared with the current (as of 2016) situation. The areas are:

• Changing demographics of Melbourne

• Performance of the transport network

• Access to jobs

• Access to and demand for social infrastructure

• Access to and demand for green space

The three 2046 hypothetical scenarios are:

1. Expanded Low Density (Expanded 2046)

• 40% greenfield / 60% infill development, with a focus on minimising growth in existing areas.

• Current economic geography of the city is maintained.

• Transport networks are expanded to better connect population in outer suburbs.

2. Centralised High Density (Centralised 2046)

• 20% greenfield / 80% infill development, with a focus on higher density in inner areas.

• Expanded CBD to take in inner suburbs.

• Better use of existing transport infrastructure by developing around existing nodes and tram lines in inner and middle suburbs.

3. Rebalanced Medium Density (Rebalanced 2046)

•30% greenfield / 70% infill development, with a focus on medium density in the west of the city.

• Growth of employment centres in the west.

• New transport infrastructure to support rebalancing to the west.

Each of the three scenarios differs, based on the following assumptions:

• The location of an additional 2.8 million people living in Melbourne, and the density and type of housing they live in.

• The location of the additional 1.6 million jobs.

• The structure of the transport network required to support each scenario’s different land-use patterns.

It is disturbing to note that for two important parameters concerning the tree society, i.e. Access to Green Space and Demand for Green Space, Whitehorse doesn’t fair well now compared to our neighbouring municipalities (with the exception of Monash). And it’s only going to get worse no matter which hypothetical scenario becomes the reality over the next thirty years. Whitehorse Council needs to become more proactive to preserve and enhance the green spaces in Whitehorse for the benefit of future generations.

Fighting for the Trees: The Story of the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society Inc. (1959-2016)

The story of the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society is available at $25 per copy for tree society members and $30 for non-members. Please contact David Berry on 0413 457 184 or email bdtpsociety@gmail.com to secure your copy. An extra charge of $10 for postage is required.

Tree Society Meeting Times

The tree society committee meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 2-4 p.m. in February, March, May, July, September and November. General meetings are scheduled for June and October. The AGM is held (as always) in November. The location is Bungalook Nursery in Fulton Road, Blackburn South. Tree society members and the general public are most welcome to attend tree society meetings.

Tree Society Website and Email Address

Website: refer to http://www.bdtps.wordpress.com for information on tree society activities.

Email: Contact the tree society on mailto:bdtpsociety@gmail.com for all tree-related matters.

COMMITTEE Secretary Ann Clayton 9878 6585 Treasurer Mary Crouch 9894 3025 Members Anne Payne 9878 1152 David Berry 9890 7915 Les Smith 9874 2641

Urban Landcare Award

The Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society were delighted to accept the Victorian Urban Landcare Award presented at Government House in September 2017.

David Berry & Ann Clayton - proud reciipients of the inaugural Urban Landcare Award 2017 on behalf of the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society Inc

Anne Clayton and David Berry received the award on behalf of the Tree Society

Victorian Landcare Awards 2017

Ann Clayton and David Berry pictured with Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC and the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio MP

Victorian Landcare Awards 2017

Tree Society Committee: David, Ann, Les (and Helen), Anne and Mary

Click here to view the Spring 2017 edition of the Victorian Landcare Magazine which features further details about the award.