Strathbogie Shire Council votes to remove trees

By David Rak

Longwood Plains Conservation Management Network is considering its options after Strathbogie Shire Council voted to remove 51 trees at Nagambie’s Elloura Estate.

The grey box and yellow box trees were marked for removal by Melbourne real estate developer Hallmarc to make way for a 236-site lifestyle village.

Conservation Management Network member Rhonda Robinson said it was disappointing that councillors voted four-to-two in favour of removing the trees.

“The trees are such an asset and we shouldn’t be debating their obvious importance in 2020,” she said.

“We are not against the development, but we believe a better option would be to work together to save more of these high-value trees.

“People come to Nagambie for a lifestyle change and part of that is the beautiful trees. It’s hard to have a tree-change without the trees.

“The objectors are seeking legal advice to decide what to do going forward.”

Hallmarc director Michael Loccisano said all the appropriate steps had been taken to minimise the development’s impact on native vegetation.

“We have worked with both the council and the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) to achieve a balanced outcome,” he said.

“There are more than 160 trees and more than two hectares of native vegetation being retained on the site. This review process resulted in approval from DELWP with specific conditions which we have accepted.

“We will be working with the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority to use the removed trees in other areas to improve habitat and waterways.”