The outcry from the Black Hill community has continued after the City of Ballarat confirmed it would be harvesting a number of pine trees near the Black Hill Swimming Pool.
After Tuesday's initial report that the area had been flagged for harvesting, members of the community have come forward in opposition to the removal of the trees and the lack of community consultation undertaken by council.
Brooke Fiddaman has lived near the area for four years after moving from Melbourne. Ms Fiddaman said she and her family would be devastated to see the trees go.
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"My family is from Melbourne, we knew nothing about Ballarat when we first started looking for homes," she said.
"Having those trees there was a massive draw for us and our kids. When I told them about it they were shocked... that's been their area for years.
"We've been in that area for around four years, we go to the swimming pool every summer so when I saw the petition, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. It's one of the most endearing things about that area."
The City of Ballarat confirmed on Tuesday afternoon its plans to remove a number of the trees, citing safety concerns as the primary reason.
The decision to remove the trees all at once has also been made to stop wind damage to trees which would have remained standing.
"The decision to harvest trees in the Black Hill pine plantation is due to a number of safety concerns for residents and the broader community, as the trees are coming to the end of their natural life span," a City of Ballarat statement read.
"Pine plantation trees are grown to be harvested. Most pine plantation trees are harvested on a rotation of 20 - 30 years (vicforests.com.au). The pines at Black Hill are in excess of 60 years of age.
"Generally, plantation grown trees need to be removed all at once as removing just some exposes the remaining trees to wind damage."
Julian Whitta, who lives across from the trees, said he understands some need to be removed, however is still disappointed at the lack of community consultation prior to this decision.
"If the trees are at an age where quite a lot of them need to go, that's understandable," he said.
"The issue remains that I believe council needs to be much more transparent with the community on matters like this. I wish the community could have been consulted and we could have let them know our thoughts on wanting the trees to stay."
Moving forward, council said they are "prepared to work with the local community to undertake revegetation works."
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