Green and Leafy Whitehorse Going Going Gone

Too many trees are being removed from the landscape within Whitehorse, mostly from privately owned residential land ‘ripe’ for development but also from larger sites. The result will be a stark, cheerless and depressing landscape devoid of any natural character.
By way of example, at an Orchard Grove, Blackburn South residential property late last month
four indigenous Eucalypts (each approximately 80 years old) were removed from the site along
with other mature non-indigenous trees and vegetation. This occurred despite pleas and
submissions by local residents and the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society to
Whitehorse City Council Planning staff, Whitehorse Councillors, the owner/developer and the
tree loppers.
It is tragic but the trees never had any protection (Residential 1 Zone) under the current
Whitehorse Planning Scheme despite their habitat, amenity and natural character values.
No, they were not even on the city’s ‘Significant Tree Register’!
In this city no protection means no chance!
The Permit Application on the site called for comments on the 3-lot development proposed for
the site but what’s the point? The trees have gone!
This site will become Neighbourhood Residential Zone/Limited Change in July this year if
council’s Amendment C160 to the Planning Scheme is accepted by the State Government, with,
(hopefully), stricter tree protection controls.
And this is only one example of the feverish development activity of late within Blackburn South
and non-Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) areas of Forest Hill and Blackburn, and probably
in all suburbs of Whitehorse.
The reasons for this?
• Possibly impending amendments to the Whitehorse Planning Scheme
• Probably the State-sanctioned push for ‘infill’ residential development within Melbourne
• Assuredly the greed of developers &
• Finally the perception by many residents and community groups that Whitehorse council is
‘open for business’ and very much pro-development.

All to the detriment of the city’s natural character.
Surely there must be a mechanism for council to call a moratorium on any further tree
loss within proposed Neighbourhood Residential/Limited Change areas in Whitehorse
until the Planning Scheme is amended in July.
The tree society has been advocating for the city’s natural environment for so long and we’ve
seen so much unnecessary destruction in the name of ‘development’ that we have become
skeptical about any future for ‘green and leafy’ Whitehorse.
It’s all very depressing.

David Berry

President

‘Before’ photos of the trees on-site  (Including a number of indigenous Eucalyptus cephalocarpa, one lovely Eucalyptus melliodora and a few exotic trees).

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‘After’ photos of the site now moonscaped!
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