Plan to remember ’forever and a day’

Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour. (Damjan Janevski) 353039_01

Liam McNally

The Bacchus Marsh RSL has welcomed two Moorabool council plans which would require 205 trees on Bacchus Marsh’s Avenue of Honour be replaced.

The Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour Management Strategy and the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour Preservation Plan were developed in consultation with expert arborists, heritage personnel and stakeholders.

The two plans cover 360 trees, 281 of which are the heritage listed elm trees planted in 1918, dedicated to soldiers from the area who lost their lives during World War One.

Another 40 trees date back to 1880.

The plans identify that the original plantings are nearing the end of their natural lives, and the higher levels of traffic in the area pose management challenges.

As a result, the plans propose taking a staggered approach to replacing 205 trees over the next 20 years.

Following the adoption of draft of the plans in August, council engaged the community through a series of library drop-in sessions, face-to-face presentations with the Bacchus Marsh RSL and Moorabool Heritage Advisory Committee, and online promotion.

Following community engagement a few minor changes were made and the final plans were adopted at a recent council meeting.

Moorabool mayor Rod Ward commended council officers on the amount of community consultation involved in the project.

“I attended one of the visitor drop-in sessions and it was very well received by the public – it’s a fantastic piece of work,” he said.

Bacchus Marsh RSL president Michael Baxter said it’s a great initiative from council and he congratulated officers on their work.

“[The Avenue of Honour] enables all the veterans and the families of descendants of World War I to honour the veterans that gave everything for us and what we have today,” he said.

“[The plan] means the trees won’t be just cut down… it allows for new trees to be planted which signifies new life – it enables the memory of World War I veterans to be carried on, it enables the memory to continue forever and a day.”