By Georgia Fullerton
Works for the CBD and South East Light Rail (CSELR) are moving forward in Randwick despite sustained community and local government opposition to the proposed route to Randwick through High Cross Park.
Earlier this year, Randwick Council proposed an alternative light rail route that could potentially save up to $25 million and 30 trees but the state government has not adopted it. This plan would see the route move from High Cross Park to High Street in Randwick, safeguarding the park’s 90-year-old war memorial and trees.
The Better Planning Network reported yesterday that the alignment for the CSELR has changed to accomodate new development on Randwick Racecourse resulting in the loss of 30 mature fig trees.
The alternative route was discussed at a community forum Transport for NSW (tfNSW) hosted last Thursday May 7 at TAFE in Randwick to engage the community at Randwick, Kensington and Kingsford.
Keeping Randwick’s Trees, a community group dedicated to saving the trees slated for removal by the light rail in Randwick, attended the forum.
High Cross Park and Centennial Park will see a significant loss of trees to the light rail.
On their Facebook page, Keeping Randwick’s Trees posted about tfNSW’s responses to questions on tree removal.
“We heard you both state different figures about tree removal – first 370, then 340 – but it was 435 trees to be removed – so does that mean there’s some good news for us about trees being saved?” The post read.
“They said…we’re taking all ‘reasonable’ steps to assess trees.”
The construction of the light rail project is due to start later in September, with completion estimated by 2019.