Following petitions presented to the house:

Caulfield Park tree removal

To the Legislative Assembly of Victoria:

The petition of the residents of Caulfield and surrounding areas draws to the attention of the house:

the decision by the councillors of the City of Glen Eira to remove or relocate 37 trees of varying maturity and significance within the Crown land of Caulfield Park in order to enlarge two sporting ovals. This decision deviates significantly from the approved master plan for Caulfield Park and was undertaken without any community consultation.

The petitioners request that the Legislative Assembly of Victoria expresses its strong disapproval of this action which was undertaken without due process and urges the City of Glen Eira to reverse this decision and explore options that will minimise the impact on the trees while still allowing for the upgrade of sporting facilities.

By Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) (533 signatures).

Caulfield Park trees

Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield)—When I first spoke in this house three years ago I said that ‘Caulfield Park has for more than a century been a suburban oasis for the people of Caulfield, providing an escape to nature’. This is still true; a quick walk through Caulfield Park brings people a sense of sanctuary and quiet, with only the jingle of tram route 3 to remind them that they are in the centre of Melbourne in the great and beautiful suburb of Caulfield. For decades passive enjoyment of the park has coexisted with Caulfield’s great community sporting activities of footy, soccer, cricket, lawn bowls and many other great sports that are a key part of the park.

That sense of quiet was blown away yesterday by the sounds of chainsaws and trucks as the City of Glen Eira, led by the Labor-Greens council, set about destroying or relocating 37 mature and significant trees without any consultation with park users or the community. The council claims that the trees need to be removed in order to create a buffer around the sporting ovals and to increase the size of the ovals. Friends of Caulfield Park submitted to council a well-thought-out alternative proposal that would have had minimum impact on the trees, but it was ignored. This morning I tabled a petition of 533 signatures which shows the strength of community opinion the council is so willing to ignore.

There is significant community anger in Caulfield about the decision by council to ride roughshod over the feelings of residents and carelessly destroy trees of significant environmental and historical value. I join my community in utterly condemning this decision by Glen Eira City Council to sneakily destroy these trees.