The precedent set by a Sydney council’s imminent removal of mature native trees in a harbour foreshore park in order to provide water views is inherently dangerous and should be put on hold, Total Environment Centre said today.
“Council’s proposed actions appear to be rewarding tree poisoners. Inner West Council plans to remove healthy native trees in Balmain’s Mort Park as part of a landscape plan which has been dogged by one-sided consultation, tree poisonings and loss of community representation through council mergers,” said TEC Natural Areas Campaigner David Burgess.
“A policy of destroying trees for harbour views is archaic and sets off the alarm bells for green space all along Sydney’s waterways big or small.”
“When first mooted at a public meeting in 2015 mainly residents whose views would be enhanced by the destruction appeared to know the meeting was on. Since then community members wanting a say have been thwarted by a lack of information and the loss of democratic representation through the council mergers.”
Trees in Mort Park have also been the subject of regular poisonings.
“Tree poisoning is a serious offence that requires a regulated policy response from councils under the Local Government Act but it doesn’t look as if that’s occurred in this case. Instead Inner West Council appears to be rewarding the perpetrators by finishing off the job”, Mr Burgess said.
“It’s not just environmental vandalism but economic vandalism. Trees are known to have great economic benefits to the urban community. The decision to remove trees in a public space, where much has been invested by council and members of the community in planting programs, in order to cater to the private property interests of a minority sets a very dangerous standard.”