THE removal of two Moreton Bay fig trees has been postponed until broader consultation with the community is conducted.
Warrnambool City Council intended to remove the two trees, which are at the Raglan Parade/Banyan Street intersection on October 20/21, however that decision has been put off.
Residents were outraged by news of the removal, and a petition pleading with the council to keep the trees has about 1500 signatures.
City infrastructure director Scott Cavanagh said the removal had been put off.
“Council’s intention in proposing to remove these trees was to address issues associated with aesthetics of the boulevard which had been impacted by heavy pruning of the two trees as part of power line and signal clearance works, other considerations included pedestrian access and visibility at the intersection,” he said.
“The community was informed about the plans through a notice on council’s website, a media release and letters to nearby residents.
“A public notice was scheduled to run in The Standard on Wednesday, October 17.”
Mr Cavanagh said this level of engagement was in keeping with council’s Street Tree Planting and Management Policy which discussed various levels of consultation depending on the scale or complexity of an issue.
“Council has noted the concerns expressed by the community over the removal of the trees and will now conduct a broader consultation process before reconsidering the future of the trees,” he said.
“Council is planning to carry out a consultation process with the community regarding Banyan Street trees following receipt of a petition earlier this year and will now broaden this consultation to include a discussion around the two Moreton Bay fig trees which were scheduled for removal.”