Newmarket Station Red Gum and Peppercorn trees to stay
Metro Trains and Moonee Valley City Council have agreed to a number of safety measures to retain the river red gum and peppercorn trees at Newmarket Station.
Metro Chief Operating Officer Catherine Baxter said urgent works will commence next week to secure the station’s structure and protect the historic buildings into the future. A bespoke engineering solution has been designed to save the two trees so they continue to provide shelter, amenity and biodiversity for the local community.
“The safety of the community and our passengers remains our absolute priority,” Ms Baxter said.
“We’ve listened to community feedback and are working closely with Council on plans to protect the heritage station and improve the precinct for years to come.
To protect users of the nearby station platforms, pathway, playground and car park, there will be ongoing pruning and monitoring of the river red gum and peppercorn. Temporary fencing to keep the community safe will be removed once initial pruning takes place. Metro and Council will work together to implement additional safety measures based on expert advice as required.
Following further detailed arborist and engineering assessments, Council and Metro have agreed that one pittosporum tree, an invasive weed species, on the eastern side of the station must be removed to allow for the urgent works to proceed.
The pittosporum will be removed under safety powers in the Rail Management Act.
Metro and Council continue to work on landscaping and replanting plans for the Pin Oak Crescent side of the station, and Metro has advised Council that no other trees will be removed without planning permission unless it is determined that a tree poses an immediate safety risk to users of the station precinct.
The ageing station platforms and retaining walls will be rebuilt with works to take place over the next six weeks.