Media Response tree prosecution (Glen Waverley)

Questions and Responses 

This media enquiry related to a court prosecution for the unauthorised removal of trees at a residential property in Glen Waverley.

Could you tell me the address or street name of the property?

 No.  We cannot release this information from a privacy perspective. 

Is council pleased with the outcome of the court proceedings? And further reaction?

Council is disappointed that it needed to resort to the courts to resolve this matter.  However, our community has a valid expectation that anyone undertaking development in Monash will comply with the Monash Planning Scheme and obtain any necessary planning or building approvals. The unauthorised destruction of this tree represented the loss of significant vegetation and without the ability to require replacement planting (if the removal of the tree was able to be supported), it contributes to the gradual loss of tree canopy cover that is changing the amenity of our neighbourhoods. While we are pleased with this outcome and the importance the court has placed on tree canopy in Monash we also hope that it serves as a reminder for anyone considering removing a large tree to go through the proper process and obtain the necessary approvals from Council before removing any trees.  If an approval for the removal of a tree is not granted by Council, a land owner is able to seek a review of that decision at VCAT.   

How important is pursuing these sorts of cases through court?

It is important that Council enforce the Monash Planning Scheme, part of which is protecting and managing the ongoing tree canopy coverage of  Monash.  It wise now widely recognised that the presence of trees and gardens is of vital benefit to the health and wellbeing of our community and to the look and feel of our neighbourhoods. We want to put developers and property owners on notice that we take vegetation management and the liveability of our neighbourhoods seriously and they must do the right thing. Although it is not our preferred course of action, if we need, we have no hesitation in pursuing these matters through the courts.  It also means people have to formally and publicly acknowledge their wrong doing and pay associated costs, when a simpler solution may have been to apply for a permit and go through the proper process to have a request for a tree removal assessed.  Overall, the court process shows to all of our community that Monash is serious about protecting the amenity and garden character of our city.

Issued: 1 August 2019
To: Monash Leader
Quoting: Mayor, Councillor Shane McCluskey