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Tree Preservation

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tonyhTue, 18/12/2018 - 3:55pm

An announcement was made recently by the MCC that a decision had been made by Councillors to remove tree and vegetation controls from the Great Lakes Development Control Plan at their September meeting.

This statement has resulted in much confusion and, I suspect, the recent escalation of chainsaw activity in the village.

I have spoken to Josh Duncombe, Tree Management Officer at Forster, for clarification. The Council is legally obligated to follow a process which includes community consultation before the DCP covering tree preservation can be amended. This will take some time.

Meanwhile the existing controls remain in place and significant fines may be levied for unlawful felling. The 10/50 rule is still in place for private property owners for the control of vegetation outside the SEPP 71 area (i.e. more than 100m from the high water mark). Within SEPP 71 areas  the 10/50 rule doesn't apply and approval for all felling must be obtained. 

Tony Hann

comment(s): 1

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Thank you for the update Tony....the changes of the Tree Preservation Orders will likely have a major impact on the habitat of native flora and fauna in the Cove. During the last 4 years particularly there has been much tree felling as part of the clearing for the APZ around the hall and also around properties within and outside the SEPP Zone.

The Senior Ecologist at Council was absolutely shocked when he visited the Cove in 2014, likewise he was shocked at the extent of the APZ. We had him visit and walk around the Cove after the clearing in the hope of providing people with information about habitat and the special species that live here like the pygmy possums, micro bats, and other endangered species. There are less of these species now. I have noticed that the migratory birds such as the dollar bird have lost their nesting trees and there are less here this year than in previous years.

I think it would be good to apply for a grant to conduct surveys of wildlife and flora which would involve residents in finding out what lives in our back yard and how we can minimise the impact development and unnecessary tree lopping has on habitat.

Maria Pickles

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