4 March 2021
The Victorian Government is investing $530 million in the second stage of the Hurstbridge Line duplication that will deliver further improvements, including more train services, less crowding on peak trains and better connections to public transport in Melbourne’s north east.
As part of the project we are duplicating 2 sections of rail track between Greensborough and Montmorency, and Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen and building new stations at Greensborough and Montmorency.
To build the new track and stations, we will need to remove trees and vegetation. The majority of this is located within the existing rail corridor. However, to also undertake upgrades to services and signalling, there will also be some tree removal outside the rail corridor.
Minimising the impact of vegetation removal is a priority as we develop the designs, and during construction.
Vegetation removal will start in March 2021, during the early stages of our works.
As construction progresses, we will work hard to avoid, minimise and manage the impact on trees and vegetation.
As part of the project, there will be an extensive replanting and landscaping program including over 1000 trees and 7000 plants.
Careful planning is undertaken by qualified arborists and sustainability and environmental specialists to minimise the impacts to local flora and fauna.
Assessing trees and vegetation
Vegetation and green space are important to local communities and support biodiversity along the rail corridor.
Qualified arborists assess all trees before construction to determine:
- structural integrity, including the size and location of tree roots
- health and life expectancy
- amenity and environmental value
- location of services in proximity to trees.
These assessments are used to identify trees that can be protected and retained and those that we need to remove.
Why we need to remove trees and vegetation
Tree and vegetation removal is required between Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen so we can build 1.5km of new track.
Minimising tree loss through design solutions
Reducing tree removal is a major priority for the project.
Flora, fauna and heritage assessments are conducted along the length of the rail corridor and incorporated into the project design to reduce the number of trees that need to be removed.
Every effort is made to reduce impact to native vegetation, threatened flora and fauna species and habitat areas, as well as Aboriginal cultural heritage areas.
Protecting existing vegetation
All trees confirmed for retention are clearly marked and where required, separated from construction activities with Tree Protection Zones. Environmental No Go Zones have also been used in various locations along the corridor to protect vegetation, wildlife habitats, heritage sites, and waterways from the impacts of construction.
More than 300 trees originally to be removed have been retained from Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen through careful review of our design and construction methods.
Before being removed, trees are inspected for the presence of wildlife, and qualified handlers are on site to safely rehome wildlife.
What happens with removed trees and vegetation?
- logs (and mulch) are donated to council and local groups
- reuse wood for habitat logs and furniture, where possible
Replanting and landscaping strategy
We’ve heard how important trees and vegetation are to the community.
Replanting and landscaping of trees, shrubs and grasses from Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen will take place as part of our major works which will be completed in 2022.
The tree planting and landscaping will include a greater variety of vegetation to increase biodiversity and create wildlife habitats.
To be planted
Over 1000 trees and 7000 plants in the rail corridor and road reserve between Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen.
Working with the community
We are working closely with representatives from local community groups on the re-planting designs.