Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (18:29:59): My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Planning, Minister Wynne, and the action I seek is for his office to urgently move to protect the heritage buildings and trees at risk due to the level crossing removals in my area.
In August I called on the Minister for Transport Infrastructure to meet directly with residents to hear their concerns about the proposed demolition of the historic signal boxes and the removal of trees at Gandolfo Gardens due to the Level Crossing Removal Project works in the Coburg area.
I also requested that the minister ensure they find an alternative site for their heavy machinery. And this is the thing—we have got these 108-year-old trees that are going to be removed so that the Level Crossing Removal Project trucks can be parked somewhere.
Those at the Level Crossing Removal Project say, ‘Well, it would cost us a lot of money to park our trucks somewhere else’.
Mr Somyurek interjected.
Ms PATTEN: This is for the Minister for Planning, thank you, Minister. The Minister for Transport Infrastructure did not act on either of my requests for a meeting so I am really calling on the Minister for Planning now to try to get this sorted, because I understand that he has intervened. Quite strangely he has sidelined the Heritage Council.
This was after the Heritage Council said that both the trees and the signal boxes should be protected. This is the week that we announced that we are not going to be logging in native forests, yet we are going to be knocking down 100-year-old trees.
So I ask if the minister will immediately step in to protect these historic signal boxes in Coburg and the 100-year-old trees in Gandolfo Gardens. The residents of Coburg have got less trees than pretty much any other suburb.
These trees are 108 years old. It took the community about 40 years to get these trees and these gardens established, and to say that they have to be knocked down so trucks can be parked for a $542 million project—surely we can find an alternative to this.