High St palm proposal is cut down

August 12, 2017

PALM trees will never return to Echuca’s High St.

Despite a recent call to reinstate the once prominent trees down the median strip in the port area the council is sticking with what we’ve got.

European nettle trees, or Celtis Australis, currently line the street but after an old photo of the street surfaced on the Lost Echuca-Moama Facebook page a wave of support emerged for the palms.

Campaspe Shire regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie said the palm trees were removed in 1966.

‘‘This was due to many issues with the trees and the public area, such as vermin, condition of trees, traffic and tree debris.’’

Michelle Day posted on the Facebook post that it was a pity Echuca doesn’t look like it used to.

‘‘So much of its history and character has been lost,’’ she wrote.

‘‘Loved the palms, shame they’re still not there,’’ Val Cook wrote.

‘‘Much more character back then,’’ Wilma Johnstone wrote.

The trees were removed and some were shipped down to St Kilda.

‘‘The area was then returned to roadway — a wide road through the port area,’’ Mr McKenzie said.

‘‘In the late ’90s funding was received for development of High St, including reinstatement of the centre median, planting of centre median trees, putting power lines underground, heritage light fixtures, drainage, street furniture, car parking and irrigation systems.’’

Stage one was opened in 1998, followed by further stages in future years as the funding was allocated.

‘‘This saw the median and trees along High St reinstated from Heygarth St through to Warren St,’’ Mr McKenzie said.

‘‘The centre median trees are Celtis Australis, an ornamental, deciduous tree.

‘‘The tree is suited to the area, we are using it due to it being long living, slow growing, and suitable to a harsh environment.’’

There are no future plans to upgrade the median strip down High St, upgrades with current works focusing on the port precinct.

‘‘Current works focus around the Hopwood Gardens play space development, movement and reinstatement of the Allison Barge, followed by the Echuca Riverfront Development, a $4.9 million project focused on improving the riverfront, making it more accessible and attractive,’’ Mr McKenzie said.

‘‘All these projects will further enhance the precinct for locals as well as tourists.’’

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