GUM CON­TROL

I want that eu­ca­lypt clipped! Ex-news an­chor in bit­ter ‘safety’ dis­pute with neigh­bour over view-block­ing tree

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - KRISTY SYMONDS

FOR­MER news an­chor Bill McDon­ald is em­broiled in a bit­ter two-year dis­pute with a neigh­bour over a gum tree en­croach­ing on his city views and the yard of his Wind­sor home in Bris­bane’s in­ner north.

Tree owner Tabitha Pendle­bury first took out a veg­e­ta­tion pro­tec­tion or­der on the eu­ca­lyp­tus – es­ti­mated by an ar­borist to be up to 80 years old – in late 2016 but, fol­low­ing a string of ap­peals by Mr McDon­ald (right) and wife Ju­lianne, the is­sue has been es­ca­lated to the Queens­land Civil and Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal.

Ms Pendle­bury said she be­lieved the for­mer co-an­chor of Chan­nel 7 News Bris- bane was de­ter­mined to have the tree torn down be­cause it ob­structed his view of the Bris­bane sky­line.

But Mr McDon­ald said his pri­mary con­cern was the safety of his fam­ily, par­tic­u­larly his young son, as the branches hang­ing over his back­yard could fall sud­denly.

Records show Ms Pendle­bury bought her prop­erty, which backs on to McDon­ald’s, in May 2016 while Mr McDon­ald had set­tled on his home in Oc­to­ber of the same year.

It is be­lieved dis­cus­sions be­tween the par­ties about prun­ing or r e movi n g the tree be­gan al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter Mr McDon­ald moved in, prompt­ing Ms Pendle­bury to seek the pro­tec­tion or­der just months later. “It’s a na­tive Aus­tralian tree. We have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to look af­ter th­ese things,” Ms Pendle­bury said.

“The tree was there when we each bought our prop­er­ties, it’s not like I am do­ing this ma­li­ciously, and it was prob­a­bly there be­fore ei­ther of us was born.” Mr McDon- ald said a fall­ing 7m branch that nar­rowly missed his son play­ing in the yard be­low had prompted him to act.

“We have gen­uinely tried to re­solve the is­sue with our neigh­bour am­i­ca­bly, but we were re­fused ac­cess to prune the tree at our own ex­pense,” Mr McDon­ald said.

Ms Pendle­bury, who main­tains Mr McDon­ald’s ef­forts to have the tree re­moved be­gan be­fore the branch fell – and was caught in the canopy of a jacaranda tree – said prun­ing such a large por­tion of the gum would re­sult in its death but that she was happy to dis­cuss the prun­ing of a par­tic­u­lar branch.

“If his pri­mary con­cern was safety, he would not put a play area di­rectly un­der the tree in the very back cor­ner of his yard when he has a 1200sq m block,” she said.

“As a tree owner, I have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and I will man­age and main­tain it. If I thought it was about safety I would take ac­tion.”

In doc­u­ments sub­mit­ted to QCAT and ob­tained by The Sun­day Mail, Mr McDon­ald – a li­censed real es­tate agent – cites both safety con­cerns and those of his view be­ing in­hib­ited by the grow­ing gum.

DIS­PUTE: Bill McDon­ald's view; and (right) neigh­bour Tabitha Pendle­bury.

BILL MCDON­ALD’S PROP­ERTY

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.