The trees will be installed by the WestConnex M4 East project as part of their Tree Replacement Strategy works in accordance with conditions of approval.
The current planting aims to improve and rehabilitate the heritage streetscapes of Haberfield’s “garden suburb”, increase tree canopy and provide in-road trees surrounded by native groundcover, and coir logs for rainwater absorption.
Works are currently underway and are expected to be completed by mid-July, 2019.
The $16.8-billion WestConnex project encompasses 33 kilometres of new and upgraded roadway and tunnel, designed to improve connections between the city’s east and west, ease congestion and provide a contentious “missing link” to Sydney’s network of motorways.
The existing M4 Motorway is being extended with twin tunnels from Homebush to Haberfield, providing a bypass of Parramatta Road and connecting to the City West Link.
But the project has come under fire across Sydney, not just for its prioritisation of cars over public transport, but for its destruction of heritage houses and ecological landscapes, including large sections of St Peter’s Sydney Park, and removal of historic fig trees in Haberfield.
The tree-planting by WestConnex in conjunction with Council is an attempt to make amends with a suburb steeped in ecological history which has already suffered for Sydney’s latest road developments.
Haberfield was developed in 1901 as the first “garden suburb”, extolling the virtues of fresh air, gardens and parks in the post-bubonic plague era.
The subdivision had individually designed, free-standing houses set on quarter-acre blocks.
Haberfield is the birthplace of the Australian dream of owning a home with a backyard on a tree-lined street.
But the suburb developed with a strong Italian influence due to an influx of post-war immigrants.
At the 2016 census, the number of residents of Italian ancestry was counted as 2077 (32 per cent of the population), compared to 1586 self-described Australians (24.6 per cent of the population).
The main strip on Ramsay Street has long been known for its famous Italian cake shops, the recently-sold Sicilian Frank’s Fruit Market and a plethora of renowned pizzerias.
The suburb is also noted for its historical, Federation-style gardens alongside its Italian-influenced gardens, which often feature vegetable gardens complete with pumpkin and tomato vines.
Visit the Inner West Council website for detailed locations on where the suburb’s new trees will be planted.