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May 5, 2022

‘Happy days’: Frome Rd trees saved from felling

Two significant century-old trees located in one of the Adelaide’s leafiest areas have been saved from the axe, with Planning Minister Nick Champion telling Parliament yesterday they won’t be chopped down to ease Lot Fourteen traffic.

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  • Words and pictures: Angela Skujins
  • Main image: The gate seven tree
  • Second image: The gate nine tree (middle)

Member for Adelaide Lucy Hood asked Minister for Planning, Housing and Urban Development Nick Champion yesterday during Question Time to “inform the house” on the status of two London plane trees located at Frome Road which were slated to be bulldozed by Renewal SA.

“I am happy to inform the house that these important century-old London plane trees will now be kept and that alternative arrangements have been made to access Lot Fourteen,” he said.

“This is just a case of working smarter and not taking the easy option, which I know was the hallmark of the previous government.”

The “solution”, Champion said, was activating one-way traffic flow through the precinct – entering at Lot Fourteen’s Frome Road gate nine and exiting at gate seven.

“This option was possible due to the upcoming road modifications linked to the construction of the Frome Road bikeway,” he said.

“The new road design will allow for a wider turning circle into gate nine, mitigating the need for the trees to be removed.”

It is actually great to know that the community has been listened to and I would hope that this is the beginning of, let’s call it a new era
—Joanna Wells

CityMag flagged in February that Renewal SA planned to axe the two city century-old London Plane trees as they posed “significant safety issues” for traffic in and out of the innovation precinct.

That announcement came two years after Adelaide city councillors voted to axe 11 century-old trees on North Terrace as part of Lot Fourteen landscaping.

Area councillor Keiran Snape was one of most vocal opponents of the proposed felling of the two additional trees.

He told CityMag this latest development was “fantastic news” and a “wonderful result for the community”.

“Myself and a couple other councillors did talk to some representatives from Renewal SA, and they did inform us prior to the election that they would go back to the drawing board so to speak, because it’s clear that council wasn’t going to approve removal of the trees,” he said.

“It’s great to hear that the State Government and Lucy Hood has cemented that in place. It really is a wonderful result for our community.”

Campaigners at the 1 March Frome Road tree protest. This picture: Yuri Poetz


Joanna Wells – from grassroots advocacy organisation Save Our Trees – helped organise a March protest against the removal.

She told CityMag that news the trees would remain made her “a bit teary” and it was “happy days”.

“It is actually great to know that the community has been listened to and I would hope that this is the beginning of, let’s call it a new era, in terms of respecting and caring for our trees and our natural environment,” she said.

“We’d like to thank the Member of Adelaide for advocating on behalf of the community and we’d also like to thank Renewal SA for having withdrawn that application to Adelaide City Council and having gone back and actually done the thinking required to get the best possible outcome for the community.”

Hood told CityMag it was “exciting” the first question she asked yesterday related to the good news regarding the trees.

“It’s a great example of everyone working together and proving that when there’s a will there’s a way,” she said.

“I’ve been advocating to the Minister for Planning on this issue, [and] they’ve been fantastic in keeping me updated on where the process was at, and obviously, I was highlighting to them just how important it was that we do try and protect these trees.

“I’ve been talking to the Planning Minister’s office for a couple of weeks, [but] it wasn’t official until the minister was able to stand up and let the parliament know that they would be saved.”

Labor politician Lucy Hood

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