Council has announced another community consultation for a landscape plan at Koornang Park. The accompanying blurb states: “The plan sees the removal of the predominant row of over-mature Cupressus macrocarpa trees (Monterey Cypress) which are at high-risk of tree limb failure.” The blurb then goes on to say: “The development of the landscape plan has been guided by principles which prioritise safety, increase useable open space and promote environmental sustainability.”

Council has also provided a link to their ‘Have Your Say’ on their webpage. We acknowledge the fact that this time there is at least some form of ‘consultation’ (unlike the Duncan McKinnon episode) and the questions are open-ended. However, we are entirely sceptical as to the claim that ALL OF THESE TREES represent a physical danger, or if in fact, any of them do.

We ventured down to Koornang Park today and spoke with numerous residents who had no idea of what was going on. They also expressed alarm at the prospect of losing so many of these cypress trees. Please note that the ‘landscape concept’ does not indicate anywhere how many of these trees are to be removed.

What many of these residents did say was:

  • The trees provide a terrific sound barrier to block out the traffic noise from busy Koornang Rd
  • The trees also provide a natural barrier from the playground to the street so that young children cannot run onto the road – the playground is not fenced.

Apart from the fact of losing valuable and we maintain healthy trees, the safety issues in the above points would appear to go against council’s claim of ‘prioritising safety’. Rather, we are at a loss to understand why cypress trees have suddenly become public enemy number one for this council!