Campaign crashes

A CAMPAIGN to save a huge salmon gum from a developer’s chainsaws has failed almost before it got up and running.

The Archibald Street gum was on the edge of Satterley Property Group’s “Gallery” development on the old Carawatha Primary School in Willagee and a growing number of locals wanted the developer to spare it and a slightly smaller neighbour.

At nearly 30 metres, it was about as tall as salmon gums get, and campaigner Anina Burns said it was a “universe” in its own right, supporting insect and bird life.

“In this age when we’ve lost so much of our tree canopy, and because of the climate crisis, each tree becomes critical,” Ms Burns said.

“The reason behind Satterley wanting to remove the tree is because they say they want to put utilities there, but I look and they have so many access points, so the argument doesn’t seem valid.”

• This salmon gum is now just a memory, upsetting locals who had just started a campaign to try and save it. Photo by Steve Grant

Fellow campaigner Simon Sun said Satterley cleared so much vegetation that locals were angry and wanted a small concession in return.

But a day after he created a Facebook page to galvanise locals, the chainsaws came.

Satterley’s PR coordinator Ashleigh D’Alessandro said the company did what it could to preserve significant trees.

“Before commencing works on site, Satterley engaged a professional arborist to determine which trees could be safely and successfully retained,” Ms D’Alessandro said.

“A number of existing trees were not deemed suitable for built-up areas due to their structural form and associated fall risks (both people and structures), as well as for their potential to cope with changes to the soil and surrounding environment.

Ms D’Alessandro said felled trees weren’t going to waste, with the timber going towards nature play spaces and community projects.

“Also, on completion of the development, there will be more trees on balance with more than 100 new plantings.”

by STEVE GRANT

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