Mikhaela Roos competes at the Torbanlea sports ground where council staff recommended the removal of 16 trees to make way for an arena.
Mikhaela Roos competes at the Torbanlea sports ground where council staff recommended the removal of 16 trees to make way for an arena.

Council approves removal of trees

COUNCIL staff’s recommendation that the Torbanlea community be allowed to remove 16 trees to make way for a main events arena in the town, met with some serious grilling by some councillors yesterday.

Councillors Sue Brooks and Belinda McNeven led the charge, asking if the council had asked the community to consider another site because the current sports ground was a huge area which measured 80m x 5m.

Was there actually a test council applied to assess great public interest or private interest before it made such decisions and was a qualified arborist employed to assess the trees?

The locals’ application is to remove an area of high value growth vegetation to put up the big arena that generally reflects the Torbanlea sports master concept plan.

The 16 trees to be removed are of varying maturity and include five hollow bearing trees. They are next to an area mapped as remnant and identified as a regionally significant wildlife corridor.

But the community user group involved has promised to rehabilitate a degraded area in the wildlife corridor and put in 10 nesting boxes.

Councillors Gerard O’Connell and David Dalgleish were pretty happy with the deal. Mr Dalgleish said the new facility would be like a heart for that rural community and would help locals raise money.

Mr O’Connell said the whole thing was a good result with a community group wanting to do the right thing and council staff working in with them.

Finally the staffers’ recommendation was adopted.

Councillor Harris also said she would be going to today’s Torbanlea Picnic Races.



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