Street Tree Removal

A copy of a letter from concerned Oatley West resident, addressed to the Administrator, Georges River Council.

Today I rang Council to inquire as to why 2 street trees have recently been removed in Oatley West. I believe tree canopy on both private and public property is very important in terms of the ecosystem services that trees provide in our urban neighbourhoods. There is the matter of cumulative loss of tree canopy and the general council response to this, and I will take that up in subsequent correspondence.

I was dealt with politely by the Customer Service Officer who was keen to act in a helpful and transparent manner. He provided me verbally with the following information, apparently from the date base access he had to the relevant Council Reports. He also assured me that he would refer my verbal inquiry to the appropriate council officer and that I would receive a phone  call back, and this has not occurred.

Here is the information that he reported to me, and my comments in response to it.

79 Gungah Bay Rd (2)Street Tree removal directly outside  79 Gungah Bay Rd. Oatley West. The Report stated that a “pruning request” only was approved. The Council Customer Officer could see no approval for further removal and could not explain why the Street tree has been removed. So my first questions are ; Why has this tree been removed, and why is this  council report seemingly inaccurate?


79 Gungah Bay Rd (6)In the absence of any other feedback, my own research has established that a D/A has been approved for 79 Gungah Bay Rd; D/A 2016/0055. Whilst the applicant as required by the form is identified as ‘MCubed’, there is no documented identification of the property owner. Why is this the case, and Who is the owner? Doesn’t transparency of process require the declaration of ownership? Furthermore an examination of the Approved site plan  seems to suggest that the Street Tree may have been ‘in the way’ of the driveway configuration that was approved. My questions are ” Was this the reason that this street tree removal taken place? Why has this happened  in the apparent absence of any transparent approval process? 

29 Baker St (1)Street tree removal outside 29 Baker Street, Oatley West. The  Customer Service Officer said the report had stated that this tree “fell over in a storm”. I have much admired this majestic tree, and did note in a recent storm it dropped a branch, that was ‘cleaned up’ by a crew on a particular day. Much to the disappointment of both my husband and I, the next day the whole of the  tree was removed,  though it looked healthy to us, and in fact the stump looks that way and it is still in the ground.

29 Baker St (2)So since we know to the contrary that the whole tree did not fall over in a storm, we are witnesses to the fact that the report, as reported to me today is inaccurate. My question is, what is Councils’ official explanation of this?

In the meantime I would also request replacement  street tree plantings of significant native species, in positions as close as practical to the sites where these trees have been removed.  In the case of 79 Gungah Bay Rd, an opportunity exists not just for a street tree outside that address, but for a native garden strip planted with a biodiverse  mixture of species, from 79 towards the corner of Douglas Haigh Street with Woronora Pde.  This would effectively screen a view of a fence and into backyards providing a more aesthetic solution for all on the adjoining public land.

1 comment to Street Tree Removal

  • Des - Marie O'Connor

    Great . Congratulations for keeping the pressure on the council for unauthorised work, THIS time tree removal this time tree removal.
    Hope you follow this up!

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