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Cockburn Gazette - - CUT THE RED TAPE -

A NORTH Lake res­i­dent whose prop­erty is tow­ered over by a 14m gum tree says it needs to be chopped down be­cause it is a ma­jor safety hazard.

The lemon-scented gum tree on the cor­ner of Du Mau­rier Road and Palmerose Court has been wreak­ing havoc on the lives of nearby res­i­dents for some time.

It has a canopy spread of 17m to the north/south and 14.2m to the east/west and looms over the two prop­er­ties whose verge it oc­cu­pies.

Prop­erty owner Tony Ro­dios said the tree’s gum­nuts were like ball bear­ings and fell plen­ti­fully, caus­ing his elderly neigh­bour Val Leitner to fall last De­cem­ber.

“When Val fell over, she hurt her hip be­cause of those lit­tle mar­ble-like nuts,” he said.

De­spite the dan­ger they say it poses, nei­ther res­i­dent is able to re­move the tree as it is on the street verge and is there­fore coun­cil prop­erty.

Since 2011, the City of Cock­burn has re­ceived 10 re­quests from the two near­est prop­er­ties re­quest­ing re­moval or prun­ing.

“It’s about a me­tre on coun­cil ground; if it were on my ground, I would’ve paid the money and got it re­moved,” Mr Ro­dios said.

Cock­burn Coun­cil re­jected a for­mal re­quest to re­move the tree in May, although coun­cil­lors rec­om­mended the City iden­tify ways to as­sist with main­tain­ing the area and mit­i­gate the risk as­so­ci­ated with fallen veg­e­ta­tion.

The coun­cil de­cided the tree did not meet the re­quire­ments to be re­moved un­der the City’s re­moval and prun­ing pol­icy and there was no “sub­stan­ti­ated war­rant” for it to be cut down.

The pol­icy al­lows for ma­ture tree re­moval only when a tree is dead, dy­ing, struc­turally un­sound, dam­ag­ing or likely to dam­age prop­erty, or the roots are dam­ag­ing home­own­ers’ prop­erty.

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