Diane Hart, Mullumbimby
Council’s tree preservation orders are toothless tigers.
Witness this week’s scene: distraught, angry, frustrated and crying residents seeing a 20m, healthy Tallowood tree being brought down with crane and chainsaws in a neighbour’s backyard.
While Council states that no healthy, non-weed tree over 3m tall and/or 30cm in girth can be removed without permission they can’t actually stop this rampant land clearing.
Why? In 2013, in response to a spate of bushfires, a hastily cobbled together piece of legislation was brought in in NSW called the RFS (Rural Fire Service) 10/50 law. This states that anyone in a bushfire prone area (anyone outside of the city centre) can cut down ANY tree within 10m of a building and ANY shrub within 50m.
This law allowed this resident to remove this tree – home to black cockatoos, koalas, possums, gliders – a carbon-sinking, oxygen-pumping beautiful tree.
They may have had the legal right to do this, but not the moral or ethical right.
Surely our laws should reflect that we are important custodians of the living world around us. Guilt should be weighing heavily on this resident, the developer and Council staff who allowed this subdivision in the first place.