The tree to be chopped down is dead centre of the photograph.

The tree to be chopped down isin the centre of the photograph.

In the Marrickville Council Meeting of August 2013 Mayor Macri put up a Mayoral Minute to remove a street tree outside 5 Day Street Marrickville.  The tree was voted for removal by Mayor Macri & Clrs Iskandar, Tsardoulias, Haylen, Woods, Gardener, Tyler & Hanna.  Clrs Phillips, Leary, Brooks & Ellsmore voted to retain the tree & fix the path & fence.  See – http://bit.ly/19w8PqB

Clr Phillips brought the issue the following Notice of Motion back to Council on 15th October 2013 –

1. Council conduct its regular community consultation process on the removal of the street tree outside 5 Day Street Marrickville & report back the results of the consultation to the elected Council before removal of the tree; &

2. Council draft & implement a community consultation plan for tree removal decisions initiated by Councillors through notices of motion to ensure that affected residents are made aware of these motions & have the opportunity to provide input prior to the decision being made.  Such consultation may include a notice placed on the tree, a letter to neighbouring residents, & information on Council’s website.”

The Councillors accepted Point 1 of the motion, but Clr Woods moved an amendment to delete Point 2.  The following Councillors voted to delete point 2 –   Mayor Haylen, Clrs Woods, Tsardoulias, Marci, Hanna, Garden & Tyler.  Against:  Clrs Phillips, Leary, Brooks & Ellsmore.  Carried. ”  I wrote about this issue here – http://bit.ly/GTJjAQ

The following is the bulk of the staff’s report that goes before the Councillors at tomorrow night’s Council Meeting.  –

“Recommendation –

1. To note the results of community consultation &

2. Determine if it wishes to proceed with the tree removal.

The tree is a mature Corymbia macula (Spotted gum) that is causing damage to public & private infrastructure.  The resident expressed concern that its root system is damaging the front fence of the property.

Contractors were engaged to remove the tree. When the crews arrived on site they were unable to undertake the work due to cars being parked in the work area.  While they were onsite several local residents questioned the proposed removal.

The tree is considered a high value public asset that provides many environmental benefits to the area.  Councils Development Control Plan provides guidance on managing conflict between trees & private property.  The DCP states that Council will base any decision to remove a tree or trees on one or more of the following –

1.    The condition of the tree, where a tree is dead or dying, or when it is assessed that it is dangerous.

2.    Public infrastructure damage is being caused by the tree, which is considered significant & which cannot be overcome by any other reasonable & practical means.

3.    Damage to significant structure on private property where mitigation of the damage cannot be overcome by any other reasonable & practical means.

4.    Any other reason at the discretion of Council’s staff, which can be justified either on technical or legal grounds according to particular circumstances.

The single skin low brick boundary fence is not a significant structure.   It is considered reasonable that the fence could be repaired in order for a mature & healthy public asset to be retained.  Council may consider a contribution to this repair.  Footpath damage is evident, but can also be reasonably repaired.

An industry recognized method of tree valuation known as the Thyer Valuation Method considers, social & environmental factors, values this tree at over $40,000.  The cost to replace the footpath & repair the wall would be very unlikely to exceed this over several replacement/repair cycles.

The level of resident objection to the removal of the tree indicates that it is a highly valued tree in the area & that its removal would impact many residents.  It is considered that the damage being caused o the footpath & front fence can be reasonably repaired.  The value of the tree is considered greater than the value of the infrastructure being impacted.

This wouldn’t be happening if trees were valued & recognised as important assets.  More after the Council Meeting.

Excerpts of submissions  about the tree removal outside 5 Day Streer from the community.  Click to enlarge.

Excerpts of submissionsfrom the community about the tree removal outside 5 Day Street.              Click to enlarge.

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