Moyne to protect Mortlake avenue of honour trees

HISTORIC avenues of honour around Moyne Shire will be protected under a council bid to save the ageing memorials. 

The move comes as the council works to save Mortlake’s iconic cypress trees lining the town’s eastern entrance. 

Mayor James Purcell said 14 avenues would be examined by specialists with some trees more than 80 years old. 

“Because Australia is so remote to the battlefields of World War I, these trees provide families and our communities with a tangible memorial to loved ones  and mates whose actual graves are often out of reach on the other side of the world,” Cr Purcell said. 

Moyne Shire environment manager Robert Gibson said the study would be undertaken by an arborist and is expected to finish in the middle of the year. 

“It’s to get a handle on what we’re dealing with so we can be equipped with the information,” Mr Gibson said. 

“The communities put a lot of value on the avenues. Many of the families are descendants of soldiers who fought in the wars and are still in the district.” 

The state government is also investigating the death of cypress trees around Victoria. 

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is concerned over the spread of fungal pathogens killing off the trees. 

Moyne Shire will hold a public meeting with consultants at it’s Mortlake offices on January 29 at 7.30pm.

s.mccomish@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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