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Residents Win Fight to Save 200 Year Old Tree

Feb 27, 2024

A community campaign to save a cherished tree from being felled has won the day with Sydney Water confirming the local landmark will be preserved.

The native tree near North Richmond Community Centre at 33 William Street had been earmarked for removal as part of the sewer systems upgrade between North Richmond and Richmond.

But an outcry from the local community prompted Sydney Water to initiated an urgent review. A spokesperson for Sydney Water told the Hawkesbury Post they had listened to community concerns and the tree would remain. “Sydney Water will not remove the tree, and an alternative solution is currently being investigated.”

The essential upgrade of wastewater infrastructure from North Richmond to Richmond aims to accommodate a projected 70% population increase over the next 30 years. While the 200-year-old tree has been spared, the fate of other trees remains uncertain.

Local residents said the trees lining the street provided essential shade to nearby houses and the community centre car park. These trees also serve as habitats for lorikeets, corellas, and other birds during the evening hours.

Sydney Water assures continued efforts to investigate ways to minimise the project’s impact on the local environment. Kerrie Mullaney, a concerned resident who spearheaded the campaign to save the tree, expressed relief at the decision. “It’s a native and at least 200 years old. Anywhere else, a significant tree like this would have a preservation order,” she said.

Mullaney pointed to the State Government’s report on urban heat islands, indicating that the relevant area of North Richmond could be 6-9 degrees warmer than surrounding areas. She stressed the importance of preserving large trees to mitigate further detrimental effects on the local climate.

Mullaney said that residents with concerns about other trees facing removal can contact RichmondSWU@sydneywater.com.au and Robyn Preston MP at hawkesbury@parliament.nsw.gov.au.

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