City of Hobsons Bay foreshore plan


    The Williamstown foreshore is a magnificent part of Port Phillip Bay. The foreshore’s tranquility and scenery are enjoyed by residents and a broad range of visitors for its recreational and health benefits, including strolling, bike riding, dog walking, swimming and boating. 

    According to the Hobsons Bay Council the foreshore precinct between Bayview Street and Morris Street is ‘a place for locals and visitors’ and an ‘ecologically significant coastal environment’, and it’s committed to protecting the coastal landscape and supporting increased biodiversity.

    In support of these objectives the Williamstown Tree Group has expressed its strong support for increased tree planting along the foreshore. More trees provide more shade and sun protection, greater wind abatement and better health and mental wellbeing. by providing a more relaxed environment. It will also improve ecological biodiversity, a major consideration in these days of increasing habitat loss in urban areas. Trees also improve the scenic attributes of an area – might be more than a few of us who have used a tree to frame a picture!

    Hobsons Bay council also has its 2020 Urban Forest Strategy which aims to increase tree canopy in the municipality to 30% by 2040. In support of the Forest Strategy, the Council released its Canopy Delivery Plan in October 2022. Amongst a range of actions, the Canopy Delivery Plan states the Williamstown foreshore must be considered a priority for tree planting and that planting along foreshore pathways ‘will provide among the greatest benefits to the local community of all parkland plantings as they will provide shade to the most frequently used assets within these areas’.

    Accordingly, the Williamstown Tree Group, as well as others in the community more generally, is concerned about a vocal minority opposed to increased tree planting in the Foreshore precinct and along foreshore pathways including in the Rifle Range Estate. The Tree Group has had strong public support for its petition to council requesting ‘…the full establishment of trees and plantings on Williamstown’s foreshore and in public open spaces’.

    Opposition to tree planting in these areas ignores the fact that the Williamstown foreshore and its pathways belong to the whole community, not just a few who do not want ‘their’ views interrupted. Parkland and foreshore precincts are not extensions of private property for some people who live nearby. If that sort of attitude prevailed there would never be any more tree planting in the Williamstown foreshore precinct or around pathways, and we’d lose all the benefits that trees provide including increased shade and biodiversity.

    Hobsons Bay Council has spent a lot of time and effort in developing plans to improve the Williamstown foreshore precinct, including extensive community consultation. Increased tree planting along the foreshore will benefit the whole Williamstown community and the many visitors to who enjoy its pleasant seaside atmosphere and the foreshore’s amenity.

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