Hamilton Hill resident Amanda Joy was woken by chainsaws at 7am. Horrified, she saw contractors cutting down a much loved mature tuart tree on the BP oil pipeline easment. Decisive action was called for. Amanda stood under the tree, refused to budge and hit the phone. Within the hour friends and residents had rallied to the cause. We parked our cars around the base of the tree to protect it. By midday the team from Forest Rescue had someone on a platform in the tree.
This tuart is 150 to 200 years old. Big mature trees that pre-date white settlement are both rare and vital. They should never be removed without good cause. You can read more about this issue at: www.saveourtrees.net
By Monday the Healy Rd tree had over 500 Facebook friends and was leading the ABC news. See Facebook: Save The Healy Rd Remnant Tuart
Full credit must go to the team of residents and other supporters whose round the clock vigil and whirlwind campaign saved this tree. Congratulations in particular to local residents Amanda, Monica, Seamus, Greg and Jonathon; Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett; Sean, Simon and the rest of the Forest Rescue crew; Alex and Leesha from Save Our Trees and many more.
BP has now apologised for ordering the tree be cut down. The campaign group is confident they can convince the developer, who wants to build on the adjoining property, to modify his plans in order to protect the tree. There will be a meeting, BBQ and celebration at the tree to discuss the outcomes and objectives of the campaign at 5pm this Friday (next to 178 Healy Rd). It would be great to make a donation to Forest Rescue to cover their costs too.
Meanwhile the City of Fremantle has launched it's own significant tree register. The process of developing a proper policy to support the register was initiated at the June council meeting, however residents can apply to voluntarily register trees on their own land straight away. While there had already been some discussion between councillors and City officers about the need to develop this policy, thanks go to Hilton resident Renée Hiller for beating the drum and getting it moved up the agenda.
Declaration by the Healy Rd tree campaigners
We, the Healy Road Tuart Lovers, holding the vigil at the ancient tuart tree on the property owned by BP, abutting 178 Healy Road, Hamilton Hill have formed, by consensus a list of necessary outcomes in order for us to cease occupation of the tree;
We need the tuart tree to be placed on;
The Significant Tree Register
The Municipal Heritage List
The Town Planning Scheme Heritage List
We need purported planning approval given to the development owner, Benny Roncio at 178 Healy Road, Hamilton Hill to be rescinded as the assessment was flawed. The tree and pipeline were not given proper consideration.
We need for BP, the City of Cockburn and the developer, Benny Roncio to pay for an aboricultural assessment, by a certified arboriculturist, up to an agreed sum, to the satisfaction of the Healy Road Tuart Lovers.