Community asked for more input on future of the Rosewoods

WARNER STREET

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The Warner Street Rosewoods planted in 1992 are at the centre of a growing debate between Council, residents and a local environmental group. IMAGE: Newsport
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As the consultation period continues regarding the upgrading of Warner Street – labelled Port Douglas’ ‘most beautiful street’ – Port Douglas-based Councillor Michael Kerr is urging the community to express their views and feelings.
 

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- Big changes expected for Port’s ‘most beautiful’ street


“If there is something you feel strongly about, now is your chance. We are still in the public consultation period and Port Douglas residents should use this opportunity to air their views,” said Kerr.
 

Last month, ratepayers were invited to choose between three different options from an Analysis Report for the Warner Street Upgrade Project to improve the street between Owen and Grant Streets.

Based on what direction is taken, improved parking, cycle lanes and large native trees could feature at a Port Douglas boulevard if an essential upgrade is completed. Mayor Julia Leu said the public will influence the fate of the street.

Last week, Council organised a ‘walk through’ and for residents to talk to the arborist, project manager and the consulting engineers from infrastructure and environmental services company Cardno.
 

And in a statement issued to Newsport, Mayor Leu said it is important to highlight that no decision has been made on the Warner St Upgrade Project.

“Council staff are currently consulting with and listening to the community.

“I strongly encourage and welcome all feedback during this consultation phase to give Council a deep understanding of how the community feels,” she said.

Leu said Council understands people value the Rosewood trees and have also been asked to find an appropriate solution to flooding, footpath and parking issues in Warner Street.

“Feedback will be collected until October 31, before Council collates all responses and presents it to Councillors for consideration. Results from community consultation will be made public,” said Leu.

Sandra Simpson, a Warner Street resident, said those who participated in the ‘walk through’, agreed the trees appeared in good health in spite of being neglected since being planted and cars constantly parking on their root structure.

“Those present were unanimous saying it was unthinkable to remove all or most of the trees as flooding was unpreventable due to land which is at sea level.

“The arborist has not said the trees are unhealthy, as previously reported. All residents agreed that street have been neglected by Council with no footpaths or inadequate lighting and clearing of fallen leaves,” she said.

Simpson said Council still has the three options, but the majority of residents are requesting a fourth: the retaining of all or most trees.

“It should be noted that the trees have put on a magnificent display this week as if to prove they are indispensable in providing that magnificent shady arbour which is irreplaceable in the short term.

“The consensus is we don't want more parking at the expense of the trees or for it to look like the Coles end of Warner Street. This street is unique in this town and we need more like it.”

 

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