Hypothetical - To tree or not to tree, that is the question

Event Date: 
28 March 2014
Department of Water
168 St Georges Tce


Things are heating up in the outer-suburban housing development of “Barren Plains”, north east of Perth.

It used to be a green, semi-rural area, bordered by state forest, but that was before the developers arrived. The initial plans for “Barren Plains Estate” sounded idyllic, and the land-sale billboards showed happy families, natural bushland and abundant amenities.

But 5 years later, the area was known as “a dormitory in a sandpit", with a lonely cluster of new homes, vast tracts of cleared land, and ever-increasing temperatures.

Land was cheap enough and the houses filled up, but the district's old sense of community has evaporated and no-one can remember the area ever being this hot. Along with everyone's pot-plants, a couple of pensioners died last summer and you never see anyone on the street anymore.

A few of the long-time residents, old Barry and his mates have got it into their heads that it’s the loss of trees that have created all the problems. As land-values are dropping and tempers are rising, they’ve called a Town Meeting to get together a Class Action to sue someone for "loss of lifestyle" that disappeared with the trees.

So join AIUSWA in the Barren Plains Town Hall for a community meeting where we will ask:
-  How are trees linked to community well-being?
-  Does land-clearing effect human health?
-  Is there anyone Barry and his mates can sue?

Inspired by Geoffrey Robertson, Strictly Hypothetical blends social commentary with comedy as our unrehearsed panel grapple with juicy issues, confronting questions and surprise twists.

Professor Glenn Albrecht, Institute for Social Sustainability, Murdoch University
W/Professor Tony Blackwell, Landscape Architect and Discipline Chair, the University of Western Australia
Dr Helen Brown, Public health researcher, Curtin University
John Carey, Mayor, City of Vincent
Dr May Carter, Social ecologist, Edith Cowan University
Peter Ciemitis, Urban Planner, Roberts Day
Mark Etherington – Environmental Lawyer, Clayton Utz 


Australian Institute of Urban Studies
0410 883 955
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