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New battle for chief Yarra’s Edge guardian

30 Nov 2010

New battle for chief Yarra’s Edge guardian Image

By Alison Kinkade

Having won the fight to have the pedestrian and cycle linkage under the Charles Grime Bridge permanently reinstated in August, Yarra’s Edge resident Cobien Watts now has another fight on her hands.

Ms Watts (pictured below) says she is furious that she and other Yarra’s Edge residents may have to wait until May next year until they finally see the replacement of trees which were pulled out early this year.

“About nine months ago they pulled out all but four of the trees as they had been contaminated by the salinity of water which had seeped into the soil, and since then none have been replaced,” Ms Watt’s said.

A spokesperson for the City of Melbourne has said that the replacement trees would not be planted until winter 2011 to ensure that they are given the best chance of survival, but Ms Watts believes the delay may be due to budget.

“It’s just hearsay, but I have heard that there may be conflict between the City of Melbourne and VicUrban as to who will pay for the works, which I have heard are likely to cost upwards of $190,000,” Ms Watts said.

A spokesperson for the City of Melbourne said that the council was in discussions with VicUrban to arrange where the works would be funded from, and that it was likely to cost up to $300,000.

Acting general manager responsible for Docklands Simon Wilson said the City of Melbourne, as municipal authority for Docklands, was responsible for the management of trees within Yarra’s Edge, but that VicUrban was investigating the future plans for the trees with the council.

“The arborist team at the City of Melbourne has advised that the optimum planting season for these trees is in the colder months, which enables the trees to be established prior to the onset of harsh summer conditions,” Mr Wilson said.

Angry that the replanting of trees has taken longer than she and other residents expected, Ms Watts has suggested that the council put in place a temporary solution.

“I have suggested to council that they place some trees in large tubs around Yarra’s Edge to beautify and soften the area and then they can be replanted later so that there’s no waste,” she said.

Ms Watts said that her suggestion of a temporary solution has been unanswered and that people need to start doing their jobs properly.

“It is inexcusable that we invest lots of money into living here and that we pay exorbitant council rates and they cannot return the area, in reasonable time, to how it was when we purchased our property,” she said.

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