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Warnings on danger zone

CLEAR AND PRESENT: Judy and Matthew Hargreaves believe the danger to motorists of falling trees in Koonwarra is real.

JUDY Hargreaves and her son Matthew are worried.
The Leongatha residents are regular user of local roads. They believe overhanging branches, especially those that make up the iconic treed archways of Koonwarra, are a serious threat to public safety – or as Judy would have it, “an accident waiting to happen”.
With towering gum trees regularly dropping branches along Whitelaws Track and Inverloch-Koonwarra Road, the fear seems justified.
Two years ago Matthew was on the scene when a woman’s car was damaged by a falling branch. Fortunately, she was not hurt in the incident.
He reported the incident to South Gippsland Shire Council, the authority charged with the responsibility of looking after the strip, but believes it has done little, if nothing, to address the problem.
“Often when I drive along Whitelaws Track, especially in winter, there are branches down all over the road. Even if you go the top of the t-intersection and turn down the Inverloch-Koonwarra Road, it’s the same story,” he said.
The Star met Judy and Matthew on Whitelaws Track last week, viewing the potential danger posed by the gums.
“If one of those boughs come down on a windy day, there’s a real risk of someone getting killed. Even if it doesn’t damage your car you could run off the road,” Judy said.
Matthew said dangerous trees had been pared back at Fish Creek, but Koonwarra was being neglected. He has vowed he will take matters into his own hands if need be.
“If a tree comes down and hits my vehicle in any way, shape or form, I’m bringing a chainsaw and lopping the lot,” he said.
“People can have their trees and we should maintain bushland, but we need to be sensible about it.”
South Gippsland Shire Council did not respond to questions before The Star’s deadline.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=28853

Posted by on May 28 2019. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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