Tree canopy pol­icy bid fails

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Jon Bas­sett

AN at­tempt to have a new pol­icy con­sider a con­tin­u­ous tree canopy across Cottes­loe failed at a coun­cil meet­ing in Oc­to­ber.

“What we need is a pol­icy that re­flects, holis­ti­cally, the con­cept of mod­ern tree canopies,” Cr San­dra Boul­ter said.

She said the pro­posed pol­icy did not recog­nise trees were part of the Town’s in­fra­struc­ture by pro­vid­ing shade, aes­thet­ics and nat­u­ral habi­tats.

The new pol­icy pro­poses to avoid plant­ing iconic Nor­folk Is­land pines in ar­eas other than where the in­tro­duced species are cur­rently grow­ing. It in­cludes a sec­tion on tree prun­ing, de­tails when a tree can be felled and promotes plant­ing na­tive species.

Cr Boul­ter said de­ci­sions about the fu­ture of trees would be “en­tirely at the dis­cre­tion” of coun­cil staff and she pro­posed a mo­tion, which even­tu­ally failed, to put the pol­icy in the Town’s wider build­ing and strate­gic plan­ning guide­lines.

The change was needed to in­clude trees and con­sid­er­a­tion of their canopies in a po­ten­tial R100 train sta­tion de­vel­op­ment and R60 on Marine Pa­rade.

How­ever, engi­neer­ing ser­vices man­ager Doug Elkins said it may not be ap­pro­pri­ate to have the pol­icy in strate­gic plan­ning, be­cause the pol­icy was meant to guide coun­cil work­ers about re­mov­ing and re­plac­ing in­di­vid­ual trees on a daily ba­sis.

He asked coun­cil­lors for rules in the new pol­icy about how many trees could be re­moved.

Mayor Jo Dawkins said the coun­cil would seek to con­tinue to pro­tect and re­place trees, be­fore coun­cil­lors agreed to ad­ver­tise the new pol­icy for com­ment.

Rhodes Scholar Ilona Quahe.

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