MATURE trees outside Melville Plaza have been reduced to firewood, sacrificed for the Dan Murphy’s bottle barn development, leaving locals shocked by the loss of greenery.
At least four large trees were given the chop Wednesday with promises from the company they’d be replaced—though the approval doesn’t stipulate how big replacements have to be. Passers-by the Herald chatted to weren’t confident they’d get anything nearly the same size.
Sahaja Springer of Bicton says Melville council needs to create a significant tree register for private properties.
“It’s just a desecrated mess,” she told the Herald.
Ms Springer, who says she’s parked under the trees for years while visiting the local post office and the Sunday markets, says she called the council immediately after joining other shocked locals to witness the trees’ deaths, but was told they were powerless because they were on private property.
But she says that’s not good enough, as there are plenty of councils, particularly in the eastern states, that have enshrined tree protection in planning schemes.
She says if she’d been aware of the impact the outlet was going to have on the site, she’d have lodged an objection.
“I spoke to the woman in the post office, and she was shocked and said it was ridiculous, because the only tree they’d left was a spindly jacaranda.”
Shopper Alexandra was distraught by the loss, saying the trees were so important because the area had a lot of bitumen already.
“I feel like they’ve killed my sisters,” she told the Herald.
by STEVE GRANT and DAVID BELL