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

• Let your Whitehorse Councillors know how important these tree controls are for Whitehorse.
Their email addresses are:
Cr Bill Bennett
Cr Raylene Carr
Cr Prue Cutts
Cr Andrew Davenport
Cr Sharon Ellis
Cr Tina Liu
Cr Denise Massoud
Cr Andrew Munroe
Cr Ben Stennett
Cr Blair Barker

• Send a letter to the Whitehorse Leader:

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
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
The fund’s web-site address is
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 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 for information on tree society activities.
Email: Contact the tree society on for all tree-related matters.


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