Nearly 100 trees will be removed from along St Kilda Road despite being added to the National Heritage list.
The area was granted emergency heritage protection a year ago by Federal Environmental Minister Josh Frydenberg in an effort to save the trees. But, as reported by the ABC, the permanent listing cannot overturn the earlier decision to remove them.
“I looked at every particular angle that was available to us to try and reverse that decision, but unfortunately at the federal level we didn’t have the authority to do so,” says Frydenberg.
The trees are being removed as part of the $11 billion Metro Tunnel Project, which will see two nine-kilometre tunnels burrowed bellow St Kilda Road linking South Yarra and South Kensington.
Victorian Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan called the national heritage listing a political stunt aimed at stopping the project.
Twice the number of trees being removed on St Kilda Road will be replanted, although it will be decades before the seedlings reach maturity.
“For every one tree that’s being removed in this area, two trees will be replanted,” says Allan.
The new heritage-protected area covers 100 hectares of land, from St Kilda Road in the city to St Kilda Junction.
The precinct will be known as Melbourne’s Domain Parkland and Memorial Precinct, covering the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne Observatory, Government House and Kings Domain.
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