Council vows to leave Warner Street trees for now

WARNER STREET

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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LEAFED ALONE: The trees along Warner Street will remain where they are for the foreseeable future. Image: Victoria Stone-Meadows.
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Douglas Shire Council will explore options for upgrading pedestrian amenities on Warner Street, Port Douglas without removing any of the infamous Rosewood trees.

A statement from Gaye Scott, Council’s Infrastructure Services Community Liaison Officer, says no clear preferred option for upgrading the street was garnered from the submissions to Council's proposals.

“Douglas Shire Council received 50 submissions about the three options released,” Ms Scott wrote.


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“More than half the respondents (28) did not support any of the options presented and would prefer a solution which either retains all rosewood trees, or at least 50 per cent.

“Of the remaining 22 submissions, preferences were spread across the three options presented with no clear favourite emerging.”

In September, Council released a report asking ratepayers to choose between three different streetscape options to upgrade Warner Street. 

The options all included full or partial removal of the Rosewood trees that line Warner Street between Owen and Grant Streets.

Since the community backlash to the idea of removing the trees and the vocal opposition from some community members, Council have decided to investigate other options to improve the street.

“After lengthy discussions, the direction given to the project team was to investigate a gentler approach to fix key issues on Warner Street and avoid interfering with the Rosewood trees,” Ms Scott said.

Council Officers will still aim to improve the drainage, lighting, footpaths and more on the street but as separate smaller works rather than as part of a larger upgrade.

“Council is firmly committed to making Warner Street safer for pedestrians and to resolving minor flooding and drainage issues and is confident this can be achieved by doing pockets of work along the street,” Ms Scott said.

“The avenue of Rosewood trees which creates the cool, shady and wonderful ambience will be protected.

“As advised by the arborist due to overcrowding, part of this protection may include the removal of a small number of trees—in future years—in order to protect the larger majority of trees. 

“No trees will be removed as part of foreseeable operational works.”

Danielle Piat is admin of the “Save the Rosewoods” Facebook group and owner of a 1900 signature petition calling on Council to leave the trees.

She is very pleased Council have decided to leave the trees and thanks the community for supporting her fight for the rosewoods.

“I am thrilled the Council have reconsidered their initial plans to remove the Rosewoods,” she said.

“Works will still go ahead but lets hope they do indeed keep the trees whilst addressing the drainage and footpath.

“I would like to thank the community for supporting the "Save the Rosewoods" - our voice has been heard.”

The scope and type of works on Warner Street are yet to be determined and Council expects to provide further progress updates in February 2019. 

 

 

 

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