Town’s ‘best trees’ axed


A MORNINGTON woman has complained to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council over the felling of five gum trees that created “a lovely park-like vista”.

However, the shire says the trees were “close to death” and will be replaced.

Lynette Catlin said the five gums at the corner of Barkly Street and Waterloo Place were “more attractive than any others in all of Mornington”.

“It was a lovely park-like vista. They were not tall, straggly ones with messy bark, like most of the ones throughout the other streets, but low growing, slightly twisted with the most beautiful coloured trunks and weeping type foliage,” Ms Catlin stated in a letter to the shire.

“I’m not sure what variety they were, maybe mallee gums or similar to snow gums. On a hot day it was such a pleasure to drive by and smell the fragrance.”

To her “horror” the trees had been “wantonly destroyed, just stumps left in the ground”.

“I walked through the now-empty space mourning the loss of the magnificent specimens and their beauty. I am not some mad greenie or anything, I am just an ordinary elderly woman,” Ms Catlin said.

“The nature strip there is around 12 metres wide. The trees were towards the back of the strip, so there was no obstruction to the road visibility, there are no overhead power lines, and they were not diseased. I have taken photos of the stumps; they were very sound, healthy trees.”

The shire’s interim director of place Jessica Wingad disagreed.

“The trees had recently been inspected and found to be in very poor health and close to death,” she told The News. “We have now removed the trees and will replant this area so it can continue to contribute to the local amenity of Mornington.”

Ms Catlin said she regretted not photographing the trees while they were alive.

“I guess I thought they would be there forever.” She said. Cutting down the trees was “an act of criminal vandalism”.

First published in the Mornington News – 3 November 2020


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