BAYSWATER council won’t take action over wetlands trees damaged by contractors at the D’Orazio-owned block near Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary, because it could jeopardise its negotiations to buy the block next door.
When preliminary works started at the D’Orazio block in late July, the contractors overstepped the boundary into the wetlands and sawed off large limbs from several mature trees that were on public land.
Bayswater council investigated the incident but no outcome was made public, and at last week’s council meeting No Houses in Wetlands Deborah Bowie asked what the city was doing about the “overzealous preliminary works”.
Mayor Barry McKenna replied, “the city’s not progressed this matter,” and instead was focused on negotiations to buy the neighbouring largely-intact wetlands block, owned by the Carter family.
He said they felt “pursuing compliance action is considered to be contrary to the spirit of negotiations” and in any case action could only be taken against the contractor, not the developer or landowner.
About 50-60 mature paperbark trees were killed on that site (with consent of the Carters) when the D’Orazio work started, but the city is hoping that with a state government contribution of $1.5million they can buy the Carter land for $3m and restore it.
by DAVID BELL