by Donna Carton
ALMOST 2000 people have signed a petition to save an urban green space from development.
The Highett Grassy Woodland, which contains rare indigenous trees, is part of a 9ha CSIRO site which is set to be sold.
The CSIRO site in Highett has threatened species of gum trees, residents say.
Federal member for Goldstein Andrew Robb tabled the petition in parliament calling for at least 3ha of the site to be preserved as “conservation of the Grassy Woodland and for passive open space.”
The area has a class of endangered vegetation, with regionally rare trees yellow box and river red gums.
The area, expected to be sold this year, is Bayside’s largest block of available land and likely to one day be home to hundreds of houses, shops and small businesses.
Pauline Reynolds from campaign group Friends of Highett Grassy Woodlands said she was pleased Mr Robb tabled the petition.
“Our hope now is that more MPs are aware of this issue and its importance. We gathered 1960 signatures in just six weeks.
That must make an impression. People care about this land,” Ms Reynolds said.
“We care about the special vegetation there and we care that there should be a green space amidst the vast housing development that may be built there.”
Mr Robb said preserving the woodland from development was “a must do”.
“The opportunity to keep a green space within what will be a new community mustn’t be thrown away,” Mr Robb said.