So we've discovered one of the problems....Metro employs people with whipper-snippers to cut down the vegetation.....as part of their "Clearance Plan".
This year (2016) they cut down 10 small trees between Munro and Reynard Sts.
In Northcote in 2015 it appears they cut down a whole vegetable garden plot at the Merri Train Station. The Leader Newspaper reports that over 30 people were involved in planting and were devastated by the loss. Furthermore, Metro Trains apologised and offered to pay for re-planting.
Metro's Pauline O'Connor was reported to say:
“Stationeers groups play an important role at many of our stations and we support the great work they do to beautify our stations and improve the community amenity,”
The people with whipper-snippers have said things like, "Personally, I like the trees, but we have to keep trees more than 3 metres from the tracks." And "we are doing this to prevent a fire hazard." Others have said, "If the trees/plants are obviously being looked after, we leave them alone."
From the Clearance Plan, the issue seems to be keeping tree branches from the high voltage power lines.
So...if this is the case one would think that...low vegetation within 3 metres (herbs/vegetables), and trees from three metres should be ok.
This is not what happened at Merri Station though....and the trees between Reynard and Munro sts were further out than 3 metres... So what is going on?
I'll get in contact with Metro Trains...follow up on the Northcote story..... and report back.