Reserve gets 100replacement trees
By LUIS FELIU
ENERGEX will provide 100 "powerline-friendly" trees to Gold Coast City Council to replant an area of the Tarrabora Reserve, Currumbin, after vegetation clearing recently caused a public outcry.
Friends of Currumbin has criticised the clearing and pruning of vegetation by Energex contractors describing it as "environmental vandalism".
Friends president Wilf Ardill said his group fully supported the safety issue "but in managing vegetation, Energex must also respect the natural environment and the beauty of the local streetscape".
A spokesman from Energex said trees growing through the powerlines in the reserve had posed a real safety hazard and the possibility of power being interrupted to the area.
"Trees through powerlines is a safety issue for us and the community ? these trees needed to be properly removed and we took as many steps as we could to minimise the damage," the spokesman said.
A meeting attended by council officers, including a botanist, was held on site on October 19 to decide the most effective way of removing the vegetation.
The plans, the spokesman said, were informally discussed with a member of Friends of Currumbin.
"It was agreed that no heavy machinery would be used to minimise disturbance to the reserve and that Energex would assist council by providing a number of powerline-friendly species to revegetate the area.
"The removal of the trees did result in some smaller shrubs being damaged as the larger limbs were removed from the reserve."
Mr Ardill said Tarrabora Reserve was gifted to the community by the state government 25 years ago and was devoid of vegetation.
The Tarrabora Bushcare Group of community-minded volunteers, Mr Ardill said, had adopted the task of planting the reserve and spent countless hours planting and weeding the flora and fostering the growth of habitat attractive to native fauna.
"As a result, rails (native ground birds) and other ground-loving fauna call the reserve home," he said.
The Energex spokesman said the need for tree removal and pruning could be reduced by seeking advice on planting "powerline friendly" trees under or near overhead wires.
Energex offers a free guide to powerline-friendly planting which includes information on the height and width of the trees, the areas in which they should be planted, flower colours and other information.
The guide can be obtained through website www.energex.com.au or as a brochure by contacting Energex on 131253.