Metro Trains has confirmed that urgent works will commence at Newmarket Station in Inner Melbourne, including saving the river red gum and peppercorn trees.
Catherine Baxter, Metro Chief Operating Officer said works will commence next week to secure the station’s structure and protect the historic buildings into the future.
“We’ve listened to community feedback and are working closely with Council on plans to protect the heritage station and improve the precinct for years to come,” she said.
Moonee Valley City Council said it has worked with Metro to save the heritage-listed river red gum and a peppercorn tree at Newmarket Station.
“Metro has listened to our concerns and will save the significant tree, working around it to make the station and platform safe,” the Council said in a statement.
One pittosporum tree will be removed under the Rail Management Act. Council and Metro have agreed this needs to happen straight away for platform upgrades to take place.
Metro stated that the ageing Newmarket station platforms and retaining walls will be rebuilt. Works will take place over the next six weeks.
A bespoke engineering solution has been designed to save the two trees so they continue to provide shelter, amenity, and biodiversity for the local community.
Metro said in a statement that they have agreed with Council that following further detailed arborist and engineering assessments, one pittosporum tree, which is an invasive weed species, on the eastern side of the station must be removed to allow for the urgent works to proceed.
Moonee Valley City Council said Metro will apply for planning approval to remove any other trees at the station in order to maintain safety or do key works.
Metro stated that it advised Council that no other trees will be removed without planning permission unless it is determined that a tree poses an immediate safety risk to users of the station precinct.
Further analysis is being done by Metro in relation to trees and platform safety on the Pin Oak Crescent side of the station.
Metro and Council continue to work on landscaping and replanting plans for the Pin Oak Crescent side of the station and will work together to implement additional safety measures based on expert advice as required.
“The safety of the community and our passengers remains our absolute priority,” Baxter said.