Most of the street trees are on the ground.

Most of the street tree canopy was on the ground.

Councillor Phillips has lodged a Notice of Motion for the Marrickville Council Meeting of Tuesday 18th February 2014.  I am very pleased that this issue is being brought to Council.  The Notice of Motion is as follows –

“Moratorium on street tree pruning by AusGrid

Motion:   That council place a moratorium on AusGrid and its contractors pruning street trees in the Marrickville Local Government Area until AusGrid commits to enforcing far higher standards of pruning and demonstrates that it will protect and respect the street tree assets of Marrickville.

Background:   In recent times many members of the community have contacted councillors to complain about the street tree pruning activities by AusGrid contractors.  They are disturbed that the street tree pruning is being implemented with little regard for the health of the tree, the aesthetics of the tree, and far beyond historical practice and the actual needs to protect electricity infrastructure.

While AusGrid has a legal right to prune trees to protect its assets from damage, they do not have the right to excessively damage council assets.  Mature and semi-mature street trees are worth thousands and thousands of dollars and take a long time to replace.  They are also provide value services to the community, including streetscape aesthetics, shading and cooling, ecology, filtering the air, and boosting property values.  For many residents the street trees contribute to the character of their neighbourhood.  To come home to find the trees on their street have been mutilated unnecessarily can be quite disturbing – to watch them being excessively pruned can be worse!

There may have been a recent change in AusGrid instructions, or the contractors used, or the intervals between prunings?  Whatever has happened has resulted in what may be politely referred to as ‘overzealous’ street tree pruning.  Some residents have referred to it as ‘abuse’ and ‘mutilation’ of the trees.

While I am conscious that our council staff have been in discussion with AusGrid about these activities, I believe it is important for the elected council of Marrickville to formally express its concern and the need for AusGrid to respect council assets.”

To view examples of street tree pruning in Marrickville by Ausgrid in January 2014 see – http://bit.ly/1bc7QJO, http://bit.ly/1alsNri & http://bit.ly/KR2E7Z

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