Common sense approach to tree preservation and replacement

Inner West Council will review development controls on trees in what has been called a victory for common sense.

Deputy Mayor Julie Passas, who brought the matter to Tuesday night’s Council Meeting, said she was delighted to find that most of her fellow Councillors agreed that the current requirements for residents who were concerned about trees on or affecting their property were far too onerous.

“I’m very pleased to say that common sense has prevailed here,” she said.

“Everyone loves beautiful trees. But over many years, various Councils have planted some inappropriate trees in the wrong locations. We need to replace those trees with suitable trees in the right locations.

“So Council will slash red tape for residents who have suffered many years of bureaucratic requirements when it comes to replacing problem trees.

“The financial burdens were also prohibitive. Residents usually must obtain arborist reports and engineering assessments – sometimes running into thousands and thousands of dollars.

“There has to be an easier way to deal with problem trees. I want to see changes to our current Development Control Plans that will ease the way for the many, many residents who have come to me over the years about this issue,” Councillor Passas said.

Council also voted last night to review each of the three former Councils’ tree processes, and to standardise them as soon as is practicable.

The amendment, to bring forward and expedite the harmonisation of Council DCP relating to tree preservation and replacement, was proposed by Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne.

Mayor Byrne said he added this amendment because he agreed this it is currently too problematic and challenging for residents to replace problem trees.

“For residents – pensioners for example – who do not have a ready $5,000 at their disposal, the whole process has become impossible,” he said.

“I thank Councillor Passas and the majority Councillors who voted on this on Tuesday night. This is a positive way forward that can result in a fairer system that residents can have confidence in.”

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Page last updated: 16 Nov 2018