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Around 660 grass trees (Balga in Noongar) are being relocated as part of the Tree Retention Strategy for the METRONET Byford Rail Extension Project.
As site works progress along the rail corridor, the project team is conserving as many trees as possible, and the Balgas are no exception.
The Balgas are being carefully removed from work zones by grass tree experts, Grasstrees Australia. They will care for them while works take place and then replant them in and around Armadale and Byford stations.
This supports the community’s feedback from the public space surveys for trees to be retained and landscaping to include native and waterwise vegetation.
Although not strictly a tree, the Balga is endemic to Western Australia, growing naturally in sand, loam or gravelly soils to a height of five metres and having a lifespan of up to 600 years.
This iconic Australian native is significant for Australians, especially Aboriginal people, with its uses going back thousands of years in medicine, food and weaponry, as well as fire and tool making.
This is the first of many initiatives helping the project team achieve the sustainability targets from the Byford Rail Extension Sustainability Charter, which aligns with the METRONET Sustainability Strategy and aims to minimise impacts from construction on flora, vegetation and terrestrial fauna, as well as maintain ecological linkages.