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Is Melbourne Water removing trees near you? What about the wildlife? Locations inside

Animals are losing their trees in droves. The cause is population growth. There is a new tree removing policy for all dams and retarding basins in Victoria, treating small retarding basins as if they were big dams, and treating trees as problems, where previously they were considered desirable. See inside for locations. This policy applies in other states as well. VicRoads is also suddenly removing trees en-masse from roadsides and median strips! None of these policies gives adequate consideration to wildlife habitat or cruelty impacts. There is no overall coordinating policy for Australia to ensure the preservation of wildlife and wildlife corridors at local, state and national levels, nor to avoid heat-island creation and local climate change, or citizen despair. With constant clearing for new suburbs and roads all over habitable Australia, tree removal by governments and contractors is reaching the level of a national civil emergency.

Trees and Retarding Basins

The reason for this change of policy around retarding basins is that we have become so overpopulated, due to wilful government policy, that flooding has become a problem.

"When a natural catchment is progressively urbanised, the stormwater runoff characteristics of that catchment change accordingly.The runoff response becomes quicker and larger as the introduction of urban features (eg paved streets, tiled roofs, concrete driveways) reduces the capacity of the catchment to store and retard stormwater flow." (Norman Himsley, "A guiding hand for flood retarding basins," ANCOLD.)

Trees are blamed, when previously they were planted to keep the water table low, stabilise landforms, and suck up floodwater. If there has been a scientific review of the literature regarding the pros and cons of trees on dams, it has escaped me. For this reason, I am very leery of the new policy. ANCOLD is the source of the new guidelines, but you have to pay over $100 to access them, since Melbourne Water is using a private publication.

Victoria's population growth

Victoria's population growth - at around 2.4% is one of the fastest in the world, with a doubling time of under 30 years. Australia's growth at 1.6% is the fastest of OECD countries. No wonder Victoria is now using the ANCOLD rules for *large dams* in order to manage small local retarding basins. These basins were adequate when they were made, before Jeff Kennett, Steve Bracks, and their successors, decided to rapidly grow Victoria's population. (See and In Victoria, where Melbourne Water manages about 224 retarding basins, there has been a sudden onslaught of mass tree removal with very limited 'community consultation' and absolutely no viable plans for affected wildlife. In this article I have named some affected retarding basins. If you put them together you can see how this de-treeing policy will impact all Melbourne's green wedges and wildlife corridors. How can anyone pretend that we can preserve Victoria's wildlife and our pleasant green spaces if this population tsunami is allowed to go ahead?

Banyan Reserve retarding basin, Carrum Downs.
Removal of trees. Late January schedule.

Campbellfield retarding basin, Sages Road, Glenroy, 80 trees to go

Fairbairn Road retarding basin, Duff Street, (within the J and P Cam Reserve) at Cranbourne, tree removal

Glen Valley Retarding Basin located on Glen Valley Road in Forest Hill

Lernes Street Retarding Basin located on Hylton Crescent in Forest Hill

Glen Valley retarding basin - no info here.

Jack Roper Reserve (CSL) retarding basin in Glenroy. Tree Removal.

Masons Road retarding basin, Masons Road Reserve, Blackburn No information here. Just takes you to a Melbourne water search engine.

Navan Park retarding basin, Navan Park, off Centenary Avenue, Melton West No mention of removal of trees.

Roxburg Park retarding basin: Retarding basins at Shankland Gully (also known at St Clair Reservoir), Shankland Gully 2C, Lake Mcivor and Tiffany Crescent. Work includes removal of trees.

Ryans Road retarding basin, Diamond Creek. Removal of trees.

A community bulletin was issued in November 2017.

Retarding basin located in Taylors Lakes, Chichester Drive, neighbouring to both Lake Shelduck and Lake Heron. Removal of Trees:

"trees must be removed from the whole length of the embankment."

Troups Creek West Wetland and Hallam Bypass retarding basin on Drysdale Avenue in Narre Warren North. Tree removal.

"Vegetation removal from the wetland; this will be replaced with plants that will improve the natural treatment of stormwater"

Yarraman Creek retarding basin, Elonera Road, Noble Park North. Removal of trees.

Undated community bulletin indicating works would have started on Monday 22 January 3pm – 4pm.

Christmas Hills land-sale. Melbourne water selling off public land previously earmarked for the Watsons Creek Storage Reservoir, which it says it no longer needs. There was some 'community consultation', but this land is going to be turned into a suburb.

RECENT PAST WORKSThompsons Road retarding basin, Lawson Poole Reserve in Cranbourne. Trees were removed.

Trees have been removed. There is a community information bulletin here: The following link leads nowhere useful:

Several more if you do a search for Melbourne Water and retarding basins.


The grand scale of this onslaught and destruction of trees is quite overwhelming. It is irresponsible to densify an area to the extent that it is necessary or in their terms, justifiable to remove trees. This action should signal that the suburban areas relating to each retarding basin are all FULL and should not be taking extra population.

After going house/unit hunting with my niece on Saturday in the northern suburbs of Melbourne I was not impressed at all. One set of town house/unit thingies that will sell for around $600 to $700k was in a word a "slum"! There is no other way to describe it despite it being brand new.

While the thingies were cheap and nasty, the thing that struck me more than anything was the lack of vegetation. There were no trees, no grass and less than a dozen shrubs lining the driveway and the front of the thingies. The second set of units wasn't much better although it did have a small patio area with some shrubs and small trees.

I believe that Melbourne as city is dying from within. Like a death from a thousand cuts, every time a tree is chopped down (and not replaced) is another cut and the death is slow and painful. However, nothing will be done to prevent this until the people of Melbourne rise up en mass and protest to stop this madness. And that is not likely to happen anytime soon.

Yes, my area Seaford is not-so-slowly changing before my eyes - good solid family homes with yards being pulled down (everything on the block completely flattened - all vegetation removed) then a massive box-like house built there - going from one fence to the other (no inset). Hardly any room for vegetation - maybe a few Yukkas here and there (a plant I have quickly gotten sick of in its ubiquity).

Large trees are removed - either when the blosk is sold to developers - or in some cases, on recommendation of real-estate agents (I suspect) to make the block more attractive to developers (rather than families that might like some shady trees) and thus command a higher price. Such petty greed (for better prices and bigge, newer houses) is indeed slowly destroying our neighbourhoods, and I believe our souls. Having greenery around is really theraputic, without it we forced to artificial entertainments to provide variety and release from the mundanities of life.

Whilst playing tennis recently I saw a vehicle next door within the adjoining golf course -one of those little bulldozer things busily moving back and forth apparently with a purpose in mind.

The vehicle and driver were up much higher than we were on the boundary of the golf club and the tennis club. We watched him attack a small rather lovely tree with dense fine very green foliage, ideal for birds to take shelter in. The operator picked the tree up in the claws of the vehicle, pushed it back and forth and then pulled it until it came out. He then backed up and put the arms of the vehicle over the fence into the tennis club and started attacking the vegetation with the claws. He could not go further in because there was a cyclone wire fence there. I finished my game and then went over to find out what was going on. One of the other players uttered words of disgust and another added that "they just rip everything out." I couldn't get the driver's attention from down below so I went out in the street and approached him through the fence. I called out

Me "What are you doing?"

Him "I'm getting rid of blackberries."

Me "Then why did you pull out a tree?"

Him "I didn't"

Me "Yes you did , I saw you. "

Him "And who are you?"

Me "I am a member of the the tennis club, and of the [local environment group pubic land protection]"

Him "Well this is the golf club; it's private land "

Me "i am also a member of the public what's more you were destroying vegetation in the tennis club."

Him "Well I'm getting rid of blackberries"

Me "I can't see any blackberries. Why are you doing this ? "

Him "I'm making way for the land to be used for something else; a nursery "

(Sure enough a patch of land about 30 metres diameter had been cleared and was just dirt. I said to him.

Me "I will be playing tennis here next week and I don't want to see those other trees removed.".
I left at this point.

The tennis club has a nice variety of vegetation around the edges of the courts which keeps the courts cool in summer and there is a beautiful array of birds. It's a haven for birds, in fact I don't take it for granted, in fact i live in trepidation expecting it to be ruined one day. I frequently hear chain saws in this valley where the golf club and the tennis club co-exist. It dismays me.