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The removal of trees on the existing Macleay Island car park foreshore caused concern for a number of island residents when they saw them removed.

The trees had to make way for the further works to be carried out on the full car park project which is expected to be completed by November.

The Friendly Bay Islander spoke to the project managers, the Pensar Group, and Redland City Council in relation to the matter.

The project manager on site told us that the trees had to make way for the final adjustment and installations as per the contract.

They said, however, that the trees would be replaced with considerable additional plantings to occur when the ‘reshaping’ is completed.

The replanting and landscaping has already started on the site with examples of the concept already to be seen in the new section of the car park which features a waterside access walkway and new and young Melaleuca trees and other plantings along the walkway.

Redland City Council said, in a special release to us: “ Division 5 Councillor, Mark Edwards yesterday sought immediate council investigations in response to reports of community concerns about the removal of several Paper Bark (Melaleuca) trees and a carved timber seat from the foreshore of the Macleay Island Car park construction site.

“In response, council officers began a review of the scope of work before any further vegetation removal and asked the onsite contractor to undertake alternate works while Redland City Council officers investigate the site options in consultation with the local councillor.

Since it began, Council has worked actively to ensure the availability of information on the carpark construction, including making detailed site plans available and extensive website questions and answers on the project. (The trees had been removed well before this stage)

“This has included communication of the detailed plan to all island residents and advice in recent weeks on the need to move vehicles and begin construction in the existing carpark.

“Council acknowledges that this did not include advance warning of the pending tree removal that may have helped allay community fears about the work.

“The trees that have been removed were identified and marked in the original approved construction drawings for the carpark which involved considerable consultation, including approval by the State Government.

“The trees identified and marked for removal were a necessary part of the required construction for the site that includes the need to meet drainage, pedestrian access, and visibility standards.

“As part of the approved design and finished site landscaping, similar species of trees will be planted at suitable locations within the project area.

“The original resident (Ted Upton) artist who crafted the specialised “Regina” bench seat is working in a collaborative effort with Council contractors to ensure the safe removal and relocation of the seat.

“This temporary removal will prevent any damage to the item during construction.

“Further consultation will be undertaken with the local councillor and the resident regarding the need for restoration and the seat will be reinstated at a suitable foreshore location on the island once works have been completed.

“Council will aim to provide more frequent updates regarding the project through the local Councillor and Council’s communication channels to help the community stay informed of future construction activity and progress,” the statement ended.

• How the Macleay foreshore will look when completed.

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