Greens Councillor Murray Matson is making a last ditch call on local MP Bruce Notley-Smith to intervene to postpone “unnecessary” tree removals expected very soon on the CSELR light rail line along Alison Road, Randwick
Randwick City Council has erected signs along the road disputing that the removals are necessary.
The usually fanatically pro-light rail Council called foul last year when the NSW Government moved the planned rail alignment to the north side of Alison Road thus impacting on significant trees in Centennial Park and a well-used bike path to the CBD.
This alignment change is locally contentious because it was announced after the Council had signed a painfully worked out development agreement for the line with the Government on issues such as tree losses.
Councillor Matson has called on Mr Notley-Smith to “just do enough to get the Council a time extension so we can sit down with the Government and work out a solution in the same way both parties did to solve the High Cross Park tree issue.”
He elaborated further on the significance of the signed development agreement the Council has with the Government by saying;
“It is debatable whether the CBD to South East Light Rail project would have ever got off the ground without the decade long support by Randwick Council. Councillors have been very proactive in working with the Government to advance the idea and we understood that some trees would have to go.
But the development agreement that we signed was also supposed to maximise the number of trees that could be retained along the construction route. So changing the alignment from the south side of Alison Road to the north side along Centennial Park should have been a key tree issue flagged with the Councillors before we signed the agreement – but it was not.”