Save the Oaklands Station Trees
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We call on Minister Knoll and the Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure to take urgent action to save the 35 Significant and Regulated trees from being destroyed for the "Oaklands Rail Crossing Project".
While agreeing in principal with Crossings Upgrade intention of improving rush hour traffic flow, we ask for the plan to be modified to protect the irreplaceable and rare natural asset that is the Oaklands Station Forest
To quote David Sheldrick-Coordinator Arboriculture, who assessed the trees for the proposed plan; "The environmental, aesthetic and character contribution that the trees proposed to be removed is significant. They also offer a substantial wildlife corridor rarely seen within suburbia. The age and contribution of these trees has not been fully considered...."
Marion Council voted to request DPTI modify the design, so the impact on the trees is minimal, and existing Regulated and Significant trees are retained
One threatened tree is a pre-settlement Red Gum and Marion Heritage Research Centre found evidence that suggests the rest were likely planted around 1916, by the community
This region has been the habitat for many generations of assorted native birds.
No other railway station in the state has the amenity or public health benefits that the Oaklands Station trees provide. If removed, their containment of heat, noise and air particles, will be lost for another 100 years. This imposes a far greater burden on local residents and our health system.
Currently an additional 28 old growth trees will be impacted (by pruning or intrusion into the tree protection zone so they may die later or become unstable and be felled too)
The primary failure of the existing plan is to build a new line, where the trees currently stand. An alternative is for a bus service while construction is undertaken on the existing line. The economic, environmental, health cost and time lost will be far greater with the current plan, instead of the alternative we suggest to the minister.
We ask for DPTI’s design to be modified to incorporate the threatened old growth gums instead of destroying them. Offering a solution to the rush hour traffic problem, that's in keeping with a more enlightened community in the 21st Century.
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