Plea to stop the chop in Glen Eira

4 Oct 11 @  07:00am by Jenny Ling

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Sheila Nash. Picture: Jason Sammon

Sheila Nash. Picture: Jason Sammon

RESIDENTS are calling for urgent and decisive action to stop significant trees being chopped down in Glen Eira. Elsternwick resident Sheila Nash said a century-old peppercorn tree near her house was cut down this month.

She said Glen Eira needed a policy, similar to those of the neighbouring Bayside and Port Phillip councils, which had by-laws controlling the removal of major trees on residential land.

“Everyone in the community benefits from a greener landscape. And although we all have certain private rights, isn’t that why we have planning laws?” Mrs Nash said.

Now most residents can remove trees from their properties without the council’s permission. Councillors voted to establish a classified tree register in April, but in June they voted to allow two mature trees in Carnegie to be felled, against advice from council officers.

Arborists would search for and identify trees that met criteria based on horticultural and aesthetic value, size, age and location. Council spokesman Paul Burke said controls would cover “the best of the best trees in Glen Eira, not a blanket control”. “It will take some time to carry out the survey,” Mr Burke said. “It’s a huge piece of work … no-one’s putting a time frame on it.”

A council report says “many residents have expressed concern over the loss of significant trees and council’s lack of control over these assets”. Mrs Nash wants residents to rally on the issue and email her at eiratrees@optusnet.com.au