Chainsaws spell end for trees in road’s way

Several old trees have been cut down at the entrance to Lake Hume Village for roadworks this week, disappointing traders who say it will affect the aesthetic of the tree-lined avenue towards the weir.

Sharon and Gordon Snowden, who run the Lake Hume Tourist Park, expressed regret to learn trees close to the intersection of Murray Street and the Riverina Highway had been felled.

Mrs Snowden said there had been no community consultation from the NSW Government until road-workers informed them.

“They said trees only closer to Bethanga Bridge would be removed,” she said.

“It looked beautiful coming in here.”

Mr Snowden echoed the sentiment, and said the trees should have been saved.

“There’s no need for it, they shouldn’t have done it,” he said.

But Alpine Lake Resort manager Jennifer Wiencke supported the move, arguing the road upgrade should take precedence. 

“There’s a lot of people who travel on that road, and it improves the safety of our guests,” she said.

A spokeswoman for NSW Roads and Maritime Services said that the trees were removed as part of its Riverina Highway upgrade because “they posed a safety risk by obscuring motorists' sight distance”. 

Road-workers will now widen the lane and shoulder widths of the road to provide consistent travelling conditions from Bethanga Bridge to Lake Hume Village and improve safety, the spokeswoman said.

Safety barriers would also be installed and improvements carried out to the road surface as part of the project, which is due for completion by June, 2018.

Meanwhile, the first elm tree of an avenue adjoining the Thurgoona football ground was chopped down by Albury Council and replaced with a gum, leading some in the community to question why Albury’s CBD had an ample amount of ornate trees but not the outer suburbs.

Thurgoona Football and Netball Club vice president Steve Michelini said he was not aware of the reasons behind the removal of the elm, and stressed the club would prefer an ornate tree to be planted in its place.

Another gum was cut down on the other side of the ground due to vandalism, and Mr Michelini suggested the new gum could be planted there. 

Mr Michelini said the club had been in talks with Albury Council and he was preparing a letter which would outline his concerns, including how the gum would overhang the adjacent netball court once it matured.

Wodonga Council removed plane trees from Gateway Village in 2006.

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