Council apologises to Bombala community for tree removal

Council apologises to the Bombala community for not communicating about the removal of three mature English oaks and five floribunda and ioensis crabapple trees from Bicentennial Park on 21 October 2020.

This park is an architecturally landscaped garden developed and planted as a community garden 32 years ago. Council acknowledges the community’s dismay over the removal of these trees and notes that the community should have been informed that these trees would be removed, ahead of their removal. This community consultation should have taken place during the planning stages of the project.

Council has begun work on the pump stations and related infrastructure which forms part of the larger Bombala Sewerage Treatment Plant upgrade. In order to accommodate the new pump station in Mahratta Street, these trees needed to be removed for the sewerage upgrade. The new pump station location was deemed to the best option for the following reasons:

• The sewer pump station needed to be located in line with the existing sewer main which necessitated the location within Bicentennial Park and in a location within the park that minimised flood impacts

• Current location minimised impacts on trees and park use. Other locations would have resulted in similar or greater tree removal from gravity sewer diversion works

Council acknowledges that the Bombala Bicentennial Park is precious, not just to visitors, but to the residents of Bombala, and therefore the community should have been informed of the necessary decision to remove these trees, a decision not taken lightly. Council will work to ensure that the community is informed of future decisions and activities that may impact them.

The next phase of work will include excavation of a large pit in which the pump station and associated infrastructure will be installed. Once work is complete, the majority of the pump station will be completely underground with the access track constructed using a geotechnical material enabling grass to grow through it.

Council will also plant new, mature trees of the same species in appropriate locations in Bicentennial Park.

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