Two ancient river red gums and the old Doreen General Store and Post Office on Doctors Gully Road will be protected following changes to the design of the Yan Yean Road upgrade.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne recently announced the changes as part of his assessment of the environmental effects of stage two of the upgrade, which will widen Yan Yean Road from two lanes to four between Kurrak and Bridge Inn roads and upgrade six intersections.
The changes to the project mean that the river red gum and general store and post office will no longer need to be knocked down to make way for the widened road.
Mr Wynne said Major Road Projects Victoria had worked to mitigate the impacts of the project on the environment and local heritage.
As reported by Star Weekly, the Yeomans family, whose property the trees are on, launched the campaign to save the trees in May 2018.
The family says an arborist and local Wurundjeri people believe the trees to be 400 and 500 years old, placing them among the oldest gum trees in Victoria.
Mr Wynne said the changes would also ensure the critically endangered swift parrot and grey-headed flying fox are better protected.
He said realigning holes at Yarrambat Park Community Golf Course will avoid the need for fencing along the road and avoid impacts on local flying fauna, especially the swift parrot and grey-headed flying fox.
“We’re getting the planning right to ensure disruptions are minimised and both the community and the environment are protected,” Mr Wynne said.
“This is another important step in delivering road upgrades for Melbourne’s north. We’re planning properly and
we’re getting it done.”
As part of the upgrade, a continuous safety barrier will be installed along Yan Yean Road to prevent head-on crashes and the road will be
straightened to improve driver visibility.
New service roads will be created to provide residents with safe access to their properties, and new street lighting, signs and off-road cycling and pedestrians paths will also be installed.