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At 5am this monrning LXRP contractors John Holland and Active Tree Services moved in to Gandolfo Gardens with a dozen members of the Victoria Police.
Despite some of the trees having possum nests, there were no wildlife officers present on site.
Throughout the day trees were axed despite a vocal community presence.
Vanessa Flynn described: “I am currently lost for words for what is happening right now but I wanted to say how amazing it was as all the tree gaurdians followed the tree loppers accross the bridge. An army of tree protectors!”
The community requests to save as many trees as possible fell on deaf ears of Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, Planning Minister Richard Wynne, and local Pascoe Vale MP Lizzie Blandthorn.
The community wanted the elevated Moreland Station moved south of Moreland Road, or to even straddle Moreland Road which would have saved most of the trees. Alternatively, Super T beams could have been used instead of U-troughs, involving a smaller crane construction footprint, also saving many more trees.
LXRP are working around the heritage Moreland Station, why could they not also work around the valuable mature trees in Gandolfo Gardens.
The 100 year old Sugar Gums on the east side of the railway line were planted by community members in 1912, hence have strong cultural heritage value to the area.
Why save the trees? Because Moreland suffers some of the strongest urban heat island effect in Melbourne’s built up area. It will take 30 to 50 years for new plantings to start to match the environmental services offered by these existing trees. That is 30 – 50 years of elevated heat impacts on the health of local residents with Moreland’s summer temperatures continuing to rise due to global warming.
Moreland heat map showing the Bell to Moreland Level Crossing removal project
Corrinna Jane describes: “Who cares about possums and flying foxes? Let them tremble in horror in their hollows whilst we pull down their homes and feed the branches straight into the mulchers! No sighting of any wildlife person, as mandated by law. No sightings of animals running from trees. We were there before the chainsaws and noise started. So where o where did the animals go, I wonder?”
Morgan Field had one word: “Gutted”
Photos from Gandolfo Gardens Axe day
This article first appeared on upfieldcorridorcoalition.org
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