A blight on the landscape

Randall Cameron-Kennedy inspects the debris from Coliban Water's clearing of pine trees at the Upper Coliban Reservoir.

Randall Cameron-Kennedy inspects the debris from Coliban Water's clearing of pine trees at the Upper Coliban Reservoir.

Randall Cameron-Kennedy inspects the debris from Coliban Water's clearing of pine trees at the Upper Coliban Reservoir.

Randall Cameron-Kennedy inspects the debris from Coliban Water's clearing of pine trees at the Upper Coliban Reservoir.

The clearing of ageing pine trees at our local reservoirs in recent years may well have been necessary for the purpose of public safety.

The act has nevertheless been a bone of contention for some local residents who view the mess left in its wake as a blight on the landscape.

Since 2014, Coliban Water has been clearing pines at the Malmsbury, Lauriston and Upper Coliban Reservoirs near Kyneton.

Much of the debris has been partially burnt and remains in piles of blackened logs.

Randall Cameron-Kennedy lives on a property neighbouring the Upper Coliban Reservoir and describes the burning off as "amateurish".

"School boys would have done a better job," he said.

"I just think Kyneton deserves better and (Coliban Water's) lack of respect for the surroundings and the beauty of the Macedon Ranges leaves a lot to be desired.

"It's a place that's been used for years by people in the Kyneton district and it should go back the way it was."

Mr Cameron-Kennedy says Coliban has failed to clean up the site adequately.

"It's about having a responsible attitude to the environment and the scenery of the place.

"The clean up, without proper equipment, and the lighting of the fires to burn it, well it was just hopeless. "Hopeless is the word."

Corey Bourne, Coliban's manager of infrastructure delivery, told the Express that logging debris was lined up in rows and burnt in accordance with its permit, and new plantings were growing.

"Further planting will be carried out if required," Mr Bourne said.

"Additional works to construct new walking and vehicle tracks at the site are planned to commence this summer, to make the sites more accessible for the public and improve access for Coliban Water staff.

"Some of the large, partially burnt pine logs on the east side of the river at Upper Coliban Reservoir will be cut and moved to allow for the works," he said.

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