How Darebin Council failed the environment and Northcote

Over the past few months and even 2-3 years Darebin Council based out of Preston and historically not responsible for the lush surroundings of Northcote, Alphington and Fairfield have been imposing their broken and damaging policies on the southern and eastern parts of their area of responsibility.

Many years ago when the City of Northcote looked after the roads and streetscapes around Clarke Street much care was taken to ensure the long term management of the historical canopy trees in the area. This included planting more canopy trees and ensuring the street scapes were properly maintained.

Moving to a recognition of the effects of climate change on our streets many residents and councils across Australia are planting and encouraging the planting of canopy trees to assist with the management of street temperature and much needed shade in the warmer months.

Tree canopies keep neighbourhoods cool in summer, provide shade, create habitat for wildlife, and help support cleaner air and waterways. Some. might also argue there are not enough canopy trees being panted in street scapes.

One would have expected a council like Darebin Council would have understood the value in ensuring like the city of Melbourne at least a 40% coverage of canopy trees in their council area. Sadly the residents of Darebin (Northcote’s south east area) are not being honoured by decisions made by their arborists and I do wonder if they actually have any professional training in the matter. It has been the council’s plan to remove over 10 canopy trees in Clarke Street (what was a beautiful street with much shade until it became managed by Darebin). This was based on the falsehood only native trees should exist in the area controlled by Darebin City Council.

Essentially the below is a real life example of what this council has been doing.

One of the many canopy trees destroyed by Darebin Council
The Darebin Council plan for Clarke Street

Your eyes are not deceiving you at all. Over 10 trees have already been removed and only recently approaches to the council and we believe halted these disgraceful acts of vandalism.

A resident of the area advised they had spoken with a tree removal firm onsite with trees to again be removed who had stated the trees were going because they were not native. “THEY WERE NOT NATIVE”

This is not the first time we have seen terrible planting decisions from the council. This council has no idea what a resident finds important.

Boring unusable wasteland

Let’s take the renewal of the Fairfield Railway Station immediate area. On the southern side we had a beautiful garden and once had nice tall canopy trees. These have since been removed and we have also seen the park bench removed to prevent people from sitting in the garden.

When the time came to renew the northern area of the station you could be excused for thinking it would be a lush environment to be enjoyed by residents with shade and lawn and a vista. Well that is not what happened. Instead we have a row of useless tall barely alive native gum trees with no shade and an area never used by residents because it is terrible. Completely out of character with the station building and the southern side.

Far removed is the idea of a place children and parents can buy a coffee and a snack from a local shop and then sit and enjoy it amongst lush canopy trees as the children wave to and marvel at the passing trains.

Did anyone realise only a decade or less ago, Darebin Council almost killed the mature trees in Johnson Park though refusing to water the trees. Only through pressure on the council from local residents was did the council act trucking in water and making it available for the mature plantings.

Is it time this area of Northcote, Fairfield and Alphington were handed to another council more in keeping with the values of the residents in the southern and eastern section of the boundary. It is very clear to most Darebin Council is more akin to managing the section to the north around Northland and La Trobe University where the areas and poles apart from the expectations of inner city residents.

What is VERY clear is we do not want Darebin Council and their so called “Arborists” destroying any more of our street scapes.

3 thoughts on “How Darebin Council failed the environment and Northcote

  1. Darebin are a weak and woke council more concerned with events outside of their control and responsibility than managing important assets and issues for their residents. They should not be allowed through legislation to remove trees that old and important to the area. Sounds like thr people in charge are clueless.

  2. The arborists at that council are inexperienced and arrogant sadly they have done much damage around the area. The articles are correct in as much as clarke street was a beautiful street with lush trees and canopy covering the paths on hot days. It is a shadow of what was under the mismanagement of the arborists and the higher management. They just don’t care.

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