If anyone ever doubted that Council was the developer’s ‘friend’ then the photos below will provide plenty of food for thought. For over a decade now the issue of a significant tree register has been waltzed around by councillors and administration. In the meantime countless properties have been moonscaped and countless mature and significant trees have been butchered and removed so that another unit can conveniently be built. Technically, permits to chop down some trees are required but only if an application has gone in. If a tree is chopped down and an application goes in before a year is up then council may ‘fine’ the developer (generally a slap on the wrist) or insist that another tree is planted in its place. How ludicrous – since the original tree is already gone and no new planting can equal what 80 or 90 years of nature has produced.

The facts of this case are:

  • The property was sold to a developer in September 2013. It has been rented out since then
  • The tree is at least 70 or 80 foot high and is a major feature of this quiet residential street
  • No application for development is currently before council – that will follow. We have previously asked what happens if an application goes in one year AND ONE DAY after the tree is removed? No fine in that case according to the current ‘law’ in Glen Eira.
  • What makes this particular case even more outrageous is that the owner of the property claimed adverse possession against council to further extend his property line. In other words, there was this added bonus of additional land for literally NOTHING!

The abject failure of this council and its councillors to protect such trees, to dilly dally for a decade, to promise a local law that is still to be sighted, is in our view unconscionable. Yes, development will occur, but it must be regulated so that profit does not always come before the destruction of the environment.

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