This was the Council Meeting.  All Councillors present. The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.

Smoke Free Outdoor environments in Marrickville – This was for the Marrickville LGA & included no smoking in all outdoor areas, dining, public footpaths, sports grounds & fields, at a Council owned buildings, within 10 metres of a Council owned building or a children’s playground, including parks or a bus stop or at any Council outdoor event/function. Recommended to be released for community consultation until 28th February 2011.

A resident & representative of the NSW Cancer Council spoke about the health statistics of second-hand smoke.  Clr Phillips supported the motion saying the more Council discourages smoking, the more people will stop smoking.  Clr Thanos was against the motion saying he supported the right of people to choose. He thought “a blanket ban was dumb & stopping people smoking in a park was ludicrous.” He said smokers have rights reminding that it is legal to smoke. He said there was no one to police this.  Clr Wright supported the motion saying smokers are impacting on the health of others & the policy will make people change.

Clr Hanna said that despite the report saying so, no one had contacted the Marrickville Chamber of Commerce or the restaurants listed. He said there should be freedom for everyone.  Clr Olive said he had concerns about ability to police  & no smoking in outdoor areas is a problem.

Clr Tsardoulias supported the motion saying he has seen it work in Singapore. Clr Macri thought 50% introduction was better & that it would alienate café owners.  Clr Iskandar spoke about the cost of smoking on the health system. He also said every smoker throws their butts that land in the Cooks River. Mayor Byrne thought education was better than an impost. Carried.  Against Clr Thanos, Hanna, Macri & Olive.

Notice of motion to remove a street tree outside 104 Windsor Road Dulwich Hill – Council staff assessed the damage & the tree & said it was unlikely

Showing the crack opposite the street tree

that the tree caused the damage to the fence at the front of the property. Council refused the application to remove the tree. Behind the 500 mm high brick fence the yard is a 350mm high raised garden bed with a 2 metre Callistemon & low plants.

The owner spoke saying that the street tree had caused a crack to his brick fence. He wanted the tree removed & replaced with a “less invasive version.”  Clr Thanos said Council should remove the tree because of the distress it is causing the resident. He said the tree will cause more damage & that the staff report was not helpful. Clr Olive did not support the motion saying that while the distress of the resident is important, the report said there was minor cracking. He said the crack can be re-pointed & doesn’t justify removing a tree valued at $1,500.

The closest street tree is the one that was requested to be removed. The dark patch in the pavement shows where Council dug up the footpath to examine the roots

Clr Tsardoulias said that the photos of the footpath tell him that the tree is affecting the fence & that street trees are affecting the whole estate & endangering people’s property. He supported the motion.

Clr Peters said she sympathized with the resident, but noted that the there is extensive cracking all down the street. She spoke about movement with clay soils. She did not support the motion. Mayor Byrne said it was wrong to let street trees ruin people’s homes. She said staff would have seen the roots & that the dirt behind the wall makes it lean out & the crack is pressure from below cracking up. She said the Councillors should support the removal of this tree & replace with an appropriate tree.  Clr Hanna said 47 trees were removed for the Enmore pool, but we can’t remove a street tree & “Trees are a written asset, not a real asset.”

First vote was on Clr Thanos’ motion to remove the tree. In favour: Clrs Thanos, Hanna, Macri, Byrne & Tsardoulias. Against: Clrs O’Sullivan, Wright, Olive, Peters, Phillips, Iskandar & Kontellis. Motion failed. Then the vote was on the staff recommendation to retain the tree. All Councillors voted for this except for Clrs Macri, Hanna, Thanos & Tsardoulias.