Metro dive site like a ‘war-zone’

November 30, 2017
North Shore Times
Caryn Metcalfe

Council anger over removal of mature trees for Sydney Metro

In a Mayoral Minute on Monday night, Cr Giles-Gidney said she became aware over the weekend that mature trees were removed as part of the dive site for the Sydney Metro.

Six trees were removed along the Mowbray Rd boundary within the Ausgrid site and a seventh from opposite the Hampden Rd intersection.

Cr Giles-Gidney said she was particularly angry about the removal of a mature Sydney Blue gum, which the council had requested be retained and protected.

“I understand it is a dive site and a construction site, but this one tree was very precious,” she said.

“They (contractor John Holland) just ignored our recommendation.

“It’s up to them ultimately, but it was a strong recommendation from council. It was a good faith thing we had. Now it’s been razed to the ground.”

While John Holland had indicated to the council that some of the trees would be trimmed to allow access by construction vehicles to the site, at no time did they or the Planning Department give an undertaking in writing to retain the trees.

Cr Giles-Gidney said she had been contacted by a community member, who was also concerned about historic Mowbray House on the site.

When the North Shore Times asked Cr Giles-Gidney how the council could trust Planning Department and Transport for NSW assurances the house would be safe, she said “that would be the question”.

The council resolved to write to Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the transport and environment ministers expressing their outrage.

Ms Berejiklian said: “I am concerned by what I have heard and will be in contact with the project team.”

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