Saturday, 19 September 2020
Mayor says High Street trees ‘pose a serious threat’

The Fassifern Guardian received an avalanche of emails following our story on the planned removal of four of the mature trees from the High Street Streetscape.

We asked readers for their opinion on whether the trees should be removed and some of those emailed responses as well as comments from our Facebook post can be found here.

We also asked Mayor Greg Christensen for comments and his response is printed below.

We have also published Letters from the President of the Boonah District Chamber of Commerce, Bruce Trevena and the Boonah Organisation for a Sustainable Shire.

Mayor Christensen’s comments

“As a Council, we share the community’s passion for maintaining and expanding our green street scapes. 

“This has been shown in a number of recent works across the region.

“Our expectation is that trees in public spaces will only be removed when essential to do so. 

“However we also owe it to our future population to take responsible steps today.

  “While specific removal of the four trees in question was not identified in the original project detail for High Street, these trees were a focus of attention from some community members who raised concerns and advice that the trees posed a serious threat. 

In response to these concerns, council engaged an independent and qualified arborist to make an assessment. 

While these trees were planted with good intent at a point in time, this assessment has identified that the species is now recognised as invasive and requires that Council remove these trees. 

“We acknowledge that earlier communication to the community when the risk was identified would have alleviated levels of concern.

  “Council will replace one tree with a larger shade sail structure and the most southern tree will be replaced with a Golden Penda. 

The remaining two tree removals will be replaced with low level garden beds.

  “Across our region, we have a number of examples of invasive species that were also planted with good intent at a point in time. 

As Council continues to review the existence of such trees in public spaces, we will act responsibly to reduce the risks to our spectacular environment by removing and replacing over time.

  “We will continue to passionately work to restore and support the quality of our natural environment as evidenced in our recent investments in streetscape upgrades and plantings in a number of locations in the region and our ongoing commitment to resilient rivers waterway preservation, our million trees investment and collaboration with landowners to restore endemic vegetation.