25 October 2019

Berridale tree removal stopped ahead of community meeting

| Ian Campbell
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Berridale Memorial Park. Photo: SMRC Facebook.

Berridale Memorial Park. Photo: SMRC Facebook.

Following considerable concerns about the removal of trees in Berridale Memorial Park, Snowy Monaro Regional Council has called a community meeting to discuss the project while putting a stop to works at Myack Street for the time being.

The seven trees in question were planted by the community in memory of locals who did not return from active service with Australia’s defence forces.

Vele Civijovski, wrote on Council’s Facebook page, “Apart from historical meaning, the trees are mitigating erosion during floods. So why remove them anyway?”

Tammy Byrne says, “I don’t want the trees removed, respect for our heritage.”

The meeting will start at 5 pm on Wednesday, October 30 at the Snowy Mountains Country Club. Residents will be able to view project plans, provide their feedback and learn more about the Berridale Beautification Project.

Council says it acknowledges the historical significance of the trees planted in Memorial Park and their connection with the community and is keen to find a way forward.

“Council sincerely apologises for the angst and concern this issue has caused,” a spokesperson says.

“In 2014, the then Snowy River Shire Council adopted the Berridale Landscape Masterplan following consultation with the community. The masterplan provides a 30-year vision for Berridale’s beautification.

“The masterplan outlines the need to reinforce Berridale’s cultural connections, strengthen the town’s civic pride, and generate further economic activity.

“The masterplan states – At its core is the creation of an attractive, connected, sustainable and vibrant Village Centre reinforcing Berridale’s cultural identity.

“The masterplan sets out a scope of works to upgrade the intersections of Myack and Park streets with Jindabyne Road. Works to improve the Myack Street intersection are required to address issues of flooding, elevation and the condition of the road.

“Council would like to assure the community that works have been put on hold until further consultation has occurred.

“Council will work with the community to preserve the social and heritage connection of the trees in Memorial Park. This is a process that received community support during the removal of Berridale’s avenue of Lombardi Poplar trees.

“To ensure Berridale’s connection to the Poplars, planted in 1935, was not lost, a series of replanting ceremonies were held. An equal amount of Lombardi Poplars were planted along with the four main approaches into town. The trees were planted by community members from the original planting and relatives from those who helped created the avenue some 80-years earlier.”

The community meeting to discuss Berridale Beautification Project starts at 5 pm on Wednesday, October 30 at the Snowy Mountains Country Club, Berridale.

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