McIvor Times

Locals accuse council of ignoring their road hazard reports of overhanging branches

By The McIvor Times

AS THE gum trees that line many of Heathcote’s roads continue to age and drop branches weighing up to, and even over, 50kg, concern is growing among locals.

McNutt’s Lane resident Robert Reardon said he had been reporting dangerous branches and potholes to the City of Greater Bendigo for years, but nothing ever got done.

There is one branch along North Costerfield Rd that Robert, 78, has reported multiple time.

Last week it ended up falling while the school bus was passing underneath.

“I was talking to a bloke who happened to live in the house right behind the tree, and he told me that the school bus was lucky it didn’t get hit,” Robert said.

Robert said the large trees should not be allowed to grow on the roadside because they decrease road safety and visibility.

“They were left there in the earlier days because when they travelled by coach they camped under them,” Robert said.

“Have you ever been hit by a falling branch? Well I have, only the little ones, I get them every now and again when I drive into Heathcote.

“If one of the big ones come down, you wouldn’t be talking to me now, I’d be dead.”

Lillian Ricardi is friends with Robert and said a City of Greater Bendigo officer had inspected the trees along North Costerfield Rd.

“The guy came out to have a look at the trees on that road and he reckoned there was nothing wrong, and yet they are losing their branches,” Lillian said.

The inspection took place before the storm that brought down the branch that almost collided with the school bus.

“Tell him to go and see Specsavers, because he needs them,” Lillian advised.

“It is not only us saying this, there is quite a few, but they don’t go to the council anymore because they reckon council don’t listen to them.”

Lillian said the trees did not need to be ripped out, but they did need to be cut back from the road.

City of Greater Bendigo has been contacted for comment.