Essay by Eric Worrall
h/t CTM; Australia, Victoria, Melbourne – another case of destroying trees to save nature?
Councils fell trees to make room for Australia Post’s new electric vehicles
By Cara Waters
December 18, 2022 — 1.52pm
Melbourne councils are chopping down trees and removing vegetation from footpaths to make way for Australia Post’s new environmentally friendly fleet of electric delivery vehicles, angering some residents who say they want more green spaces, not fewer.
Merri-bek, Darebin and Stonnington councils have removed tree branches along footpaths in response to Australia Post rolling out 500 electric trikes, replacing the old motorbikes, in Victoria in May.
An Australia Post spokesman said the 3125 electric trikes being driven nationally were helping the organisation achieve its goal of reducing emissions by 15 per cent by 2025, and improving postie safety by reducing motorcycle rounds.
In Melbourne’s south-east, the City of Stonnington said it had received more requests from Australia Post than normal over the past two years to cut back vegetation to accommodate its new vehicles.
The council could not provide exact figures but estimated it was about 30 to 50 requests per year.
…Read more: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/councils-fell-trees-to-make-room-for-australia-post-s-new-electric-vehicles-20221216-p5c6vm.html
The trees had another purpose besides beautifying the neighbourhoods.
While Melbourne is one of Australia’s colder cities, in Summer Melbourne can experience scorching heatwaves, days or even weeks of temperatures above 100F.
I remember being grateful for the continuous boulevards of trees on some streets providing welcome shade on hot days while walking or cycling in Melbourne. The trees also provided some protection from the weather in Melbourne’s windy and wet winter months, and of course, they provided a habitat for local birds.
Now the protection of the trees is being removed, there will be less protection from the elements for pedestrians – which will make driving an even more attractive transport option.
Of course, in newer neighbourhoods houses have been packed in tight, so there was less room for trees to start with. But as the picture at the top of the page shows, councils still made an effort even in high density neighbourhoods, at least they did until Australia Post caught the electric vehicle disease, and started bombarding councils with vegetation clearance orders.
I think it is important to note there are likely very few written orders which explicitly demand trees be removed – but in practical terms, tree removal seems to be the outcome. If this ever blows up in their faces, my guess is everyone will point to the ambiguities in the paper trail and claim their hands are clean.
But I doubt the architects of this situation have anything to fear. Modern greens don’t seem to care about protecting woodlands or urban trees, there is no wilderness they appear to be unwilling to sacrifice to further their goals of vehicle electrification, and covering the landscape with ugly renewable energy infrastructure.
With a few honourable exceptions Aussie greens have mostly stayed silent while entire old growth forests were butchered and the ground poisoned and concreted to make way for monstrous solar and wind farm installations. My guess is people who keep their mouths shut while vast stands of pristine ancient woodlands are desecrated are unlikely to get excited about the loss of some beloved urban trees.