Shocking tree canopy loss in 5 years


According to the City of Stirling’s Urban Forest Community Workshop PowerPoint presentation the “total loss over 5 years is same size as 55 WACA’s.
On average, 202,000 m2 canopy lost across City of Stirling each year.  Often stated that “its just one tree being removed” but cumulative effects are

This is the current canopy cover of each suburb.  Also see the Urban Forest Strategy page on the City of Stirling website.

Sadly, many people only see the trees that they are removing from their own patch and are oblivious to the bigger picture.  State Government authorities such as the Department of Education, Main Roads and the MRA are no better, they are also removing huge numbers of trees, but so is the City of Stirling.

The City of Stirling is spending millions of dollars on planting new trees and on public education and workshops to promote the benefits of  trees and the need to protect them.  Yet, at the same time they are removing and planning to remove large numbers themselves?  This really is the height of hypocrisy, they should be leading by example.

See below the City of Stirling’s current proposal below to remove a large number of trees from the Princess Wallington Reserve in Balga.  Balga has lost 13.1% in the last 5 years.

On top of all of the trees they want to remove around the community center building in the image above, they also want to remove more near the oval to create a fenced off dog exercise area  (see the location and trees to be removed in the image below).  The dog exercise area  seems to be missing from the main plan above?

The City of Stirling is currently seeking pubic comment on this proposed dog exercise area (closes 20th September), see Princess Wallington Dog Park Consultation.

Note, these dog exercise areas cost about $180,000 and require a lot of money to maintain and keep clean.  The new one at the Charles Riley Reserve in North Beach had to have all of the turf replaced recently.  As you can imaging the concentration of dog urine and poop combined with all of the digging and general wear and tear from a large number of dogs running around and their owners is very hard on the grass.

You always get the same old sweetener from the proponents of these developments, they always say that they will “replace mature trees 3 to 1 with new trees”, you hear it ad nauseam.  But all the while our urban forest continues to disappear.

Unfortunately mature trees take decades to grow and they are very expensive to remove. Then, each new tree cost about $500 to plant and maintain and get established.  On top of that, not all new trees grow, many die or fail to thrive and end up providing little or no canopy.  The whole process is very upsetting for many local residents and devastating for the birds that live in them.

Also note how they divide these developments up into stages. Each stage is approved separately.  They did this at the Charles Riley reserve and advertised most controversial stage that required the most tree removal for public consultation last (just before Christmas when everyone was away or distracted).   By then of course there was no wiggle room as all of the other stages were approved and locked in so the trees had to go – nasty.

Given the dismal economic outlook, you have to wonder why the City is proposing to spend so many millions of dollars and destroy all of these trees in this park in Balga where there is about 25% unemployment?  Perhaps some of the local ratepayers would prefer some financial assistance in the form of rate relief ?  Is it really the time to be spending big on extravagant and unnecessary developments?   To make matters worse the City has increased rates again, which they do not need to do and they have also increased the fine for the late payment of rates up to 9%.   This is a classic example of a public sector authority being completely out of step with the economy.

If you disapprove of any part of this development and the removal of trees by the City of Stirling send them an email  – see list of email addresses.