Urban forest lost as 500 trees cut down on industrial site

Written by admin on 05/07/2018 Categories: 南京夜网

MORE than 500 pine trees, which formed an unusual urban forest in the corner of a Caringbah industrial site, were cut down this week.
Nanjing Night Net

The Cawarra Road property, which was originally occupied by pharmaceutical company Parke Davis (later Pfizer), is being converted into a 40-lot industrial subdivision.

Sutherland Shire Council, which approved the removal of the radiata pines, said they were an imported species, with low ecological value.

They would be replaced with 600 native trees and the developer would pay for a further 600 trees to be planted in surrounding streets and along the Kingsway.

Peter Thorburn, who operates a customs and forwarding business from an elevated factory unit in adjoining Meta Street, said the trees were more than 30 metres tall.

‘‘We looked right into them and it was a beautiful outlook, with all the birds coming and going,’’ he said.

‘‘Ducks would forage around the bottom, there were black cockatoos and lots of others, depending on the time of year.’’

Mr Thorburn, whose father Ray was a former Sutherland Shire Council president and federal MP, said past councils would have done everything possible to preserve the green space.

‘‘It is just another landmark that has been destroyed,’’ he said.

Mr Thorburn said the council’s environmental report was inconclusive about the reason the pines were planted when Parke Davis, an American firm, moved to the site in 1954.

Suggestions include that they were used for medical research or to control water run-off.

Tree lopping contractor Russell Norton said radiata pines featured in huge commercial plantations throughout Australia.

‘‘They are an imported species from the Monterey Peninsula in California,’’ he said.

‘‘‘It would be different if they were 200-year-old Moreton Bay Figs.

‘‘The logs are going to the sawmill, where they will become timber for house frames, and the rest will be chipped and re-used.’’

NATIVES TO REPLACE LOST TREES

A council spokeswoman said the site was within an employment zone and subdivision was permitted under the local environmental plan.

‘‘Significant drainage issues mean the site needs to be filled as part of the development, and the filling, internal roads and infrastructure as well as future buildings require the removal of a number of trees,’’ she said.

‘‘Council worked through several options with the applicant to try and save as many of the trees as possible and managed to negotiate a significant amount of replanting to offset the trees being removed as part of the subdivision.

‘‘Once the development is complete, up to 600 native trees will be planted on-site and the applicant is also required to pay for another 600 trees to be planted in surrounding streets and along the Kingsway.

‘‘This fits within the council’s policy of tree replacement for trees removed from private land.

‘‘The pine trees being removed are not an indigenous species and have low ecological or habitat value. The replacement trees on and off the site will be local indigenous trees and will therefore deliver a better long-term outcome for the local environment.

‘‘Most of the trees along the street frontages of Cawarra Road and Meta Street will be retained.’’

Should the council have allowed the trees to be removed?

Picture: John Veage

Local landmark: The forest can be seen in the top right corner of this aerial photo of the old plant. Inset, 500 trees have been felled to make way for an industrial estate.

Unkind cut: Trees are chopped down and woodchipped to make way for an industrial park. Pictures John Veage

Green space: The view from Peter Thorburn’s factory unit as work begins (bottom left). Picture: Chris Lane

Picture: John Veage

Picture: John Veage

Picture: John Veage

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comments Off on Urban forest lost as 500 trees cut down on industrial site