Quarantine quarrels

Max Trott says there’s more to planting a tree than just thinking about the shade. Photo by Dhanya Vimalan

A BICTON resident says Melville council’s decision to plant seven tuart trees in Quarantine Park could backfire and even deter people from using the park. 

The tree planting is part of the council’s five-year Urban Forest Strategy to beef up the city’s tree canopy and provide shade for picnicking families. 

Max Trott (79), along with long-term neighbours Malcolm Doig and Allan Ulrich say the trees will block their river views, but more importantly could be a hazard to visitors. 

“We hold weddings, yoga classes, exercise classes, and many more activities because of the beautiful view and location; planting more large tuart gum trees is going to reduce the visibility of the view, turning people away,” Mr Trott said. 

“There have also been examples of tuart gum trees being found to be quite dangerous, including the incident that happened at Margaret River Golf Club, where a member was struck by a falling tuart branch.”

In the 1980s, Messrs Doig and Ulrich campaigned to save Quarantine Park from becoming an apartment block. 

Mr Trott wants the public to know he and his neighbours support reducing carbon emissions and increasing habitat for native birdlife but believe the tuarts are a poor choice.

“We are not anti-trees; we are saying it is the wrong trees planted in the wrong place.” 

Bicton Alfred Cove ward councillor Glynis Barber said it would be wise for the council to consult with residents. 

“If planting a tree in the wrong place could potentially injure a child or block a significant view, then I believe the people who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision making,” Cr Barber said. 

“These residents have lived community experience that the city officers should be consulting with and listening to.”

Melville CEO Marten Tieleman said the tuarts would provide “shady locations for the community to enjoy, and tuart trees are a source of food habitat for the Carnaby’s and red-tailed cockatoos”.


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