Blackburn & District Tree Society Response to the 25 August 2014 Media Release from The Hon Terry Mulder, Minister for Public Transport:
‘Forest Hill Parkland and Community Areas Secured’.
Whilst there are some concessions made in the media release and plan (see attached) put out by the Napthine State Government regarding the fate of the Healesville Freeway Reserve in Forest Hill, it is mostly smoke and mirrors.
There is no percentage for proposed housing given; an invitation to other authorities (including Whitehorse City Council) to purchase the land is clever, very sneaky and not likely to happen. The plan relinquishes a mere 10% of the land that was targeted for housing on the VicRoads-preferred ‘Shared Path’ Concept.
This leaves about 50% of the reserve free to be sold for residential development which is still a long way short of the maximum of 20% put forward by the Friends group and Whitehorse Council.
The real concern now is the land parcels containing important remnant vegetation west of Terrara Road and east of Morack Road (including the historic properties in this latter section).
From the Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society’s view we need to fight to preserve those areas of land that contain important remnant vegetation.
The society will be independently lobbying local Liberal MP Neil Angus and others to preserve this section of the reserve.