Oatley Bay Tree Massacre

A tree massacre has been bought to our attention at the Oatley Bay Memorial Boardwalk. A nearby resident was seen removing gum trees, mangrove trees casuarinas and others on the 13th of July.

Council were notified and  on the day visited the site and confiscated a saw and ladder.  Clearing continued on  27th July and 1st August,  this was reported with photos to council.

OFF members have visited this site and seen lots of small trees and some mangrove branches cut down and the stumps pasted in black (?poison).  All the destroyed vegetation still lying on the ground. It has certainly created a ‘water view’ for the occupant of one unit in the Kingfisher block (No. 136 Morshead Drive). 

Some have noted it would seem an ideal place to erect one of those boards that blocks the view from the unit and shames the perpetrator.  It has damaged the ambience of the Memorial Boardwalk; following website says “construction was competed in October 2008 and boardwalk was officially launched by the mayor and representatives from the St George RS.  http://www.kogarah.nsw.gov.au/environment/local-projects/foreshore

Three Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos were seen climbing amongst the casuarinas that were still standing, and a Magpie-Lark was foraging on the exposed mud flat – certainly an area of significance for birds.

 

 

 

90 Gungah Bay Road Application for Street Tree Removal

UPDATE – 02/08/17 – Following advice from council Tree Management Officer the applicant has revised the application and drawings in support of the street tree retention and protection of the Melaleuca quinquenervia, (Broad leaf Paperbark) located on Council nature strip and the Archontophoenix sp (King Palm), in the rear of the neighbour’s property.

2 trees selected from the list of suitable species in the Georges River Council’s Tree Removal and Pruning Guidelines must be replanted within the front/rear yard of the subject site. to replace the palm that will be removed due to the development.


90 Gungah Bay Road – Application has been made for removal of a street tree in conjunction with a development at the property. The removal of this tree is not necessary for the development. There are two existing drive ways on either side of the tree. It is a part of a row of Melaleuca trees. Removal will change the streetscape. We have already reported the illegal removal of a tree in front of 79 Gungah Bay Road. 

Letter to Council from Resident:-

We object to the proposed tree removal in association with this development. We note that the Statement of Environmental Effects accompanying this DA refers to one tree removal yet the Landscape Plan proposes the removal of 2.

Our reasons for objections are as follows.

The street tree at the front is a valued and large community street tree providing a full range of ecosystem services, biodiversity and aesthetic values. There is no justification for its removal, as there is adequate room for a driveway access without its removal. It is not sufficient to propose a replacement street tree as they take so long to achieve the age and height of the existing tree.

There is also no justification for the removal of the tree at the back of the property either. There is sufficient room to re locate the proposed backyard built elements elsewhere so as to enable its retention.

We also do not support the species choice in the Landscape Plan. Acacias are only small tree species and have a tendency to be short lived. There is more than adequate space within this development to accomodate larger Eucalypt species that are consistent with the original indigenous vegetation cover.

The need to re-instate tree canopy cover requires a recognition of the fact that large trees are an essential element of this and whilst mid storey plantings of smaller trees and shrubs are also desirable, again are not sufficient.

Sydney Tree Canopy Study

Preliminary research data from 202020 Vision made in a submission to Greater Sydney Commission in April 2017 shows changes in tree canopy and hard surfaces from 2009 -2016 in local government areas in Sydney. A full report ” Where the Trees Should Go” is expected later this year. 

It is is interesting to note:

  • Hurstville Council looses tree canopy cover where as Kogarah Council becomes positive.
  •  Kogarah and Hurstville councils both have about a 5% increase in hard surfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFF Launches Council Election Campaign With Mass Planting

Today, Oatley Flora & Fauna Conservation Society (OFF) members and friends gathered to plant out a small portion of the reserve near Oatley station. The project was started in May with 300 plants and today it was completed by planting 200 more.

At the same time Society President Graham Lalchere announced that OFF has decided to take an active part in the September council elections. However, he said “We won’t necessarily be advocating a vote for any particular candidate. What we are looking for are new candidates who will give the newly merged Georges River Council a fresh start.”

“We are seeking candidates who will support:

  • Council openness and good governance

  • Protection of open spaces like Myles Dunphy Reserve

  • Effective control of developers and development

  • Protection of trees on public and private land

  • Georges River water quality improvement projects and programs; and

  • Climate change policies that enhance liveability and sustainability at the local level.

“With this planting we are putting our money where our mouth is and leading the way to maintaining healthy parks and open space” Mr Lalchere said.

So, what we will be asking the community to do is get to know who they are voting for – It really matters. First and foremost we want the Council to be well governed by ethical councillors who act honourably, fairly and solely in the public interest.

Protection of our local environment underpins the health and well-being of the whole community. Councillors have a key role in ensuring our quality of life is maintained so look for those who will be putting these policies high on the agenda.

To assist with this OFF will be raising awareness by canvassing the candidates’ opinions and positions on important local issues and publicising their responses.

“We cannot afford to sit back and abdicate our responsibility when voting on 9th September.

Show you care for our local environment. Ensure it is protected. Vote 1 for a fresh start” Mr Lalchere said.

Inappropriate Trimming of Street Trees

On going saga of over trimming on Gungah Bay road street trees. Council response (4/7/17) attached in photo below.

Why would Augrid remove the entire “western” side of the tree, which goes no where near the power lines? Or is this a convenient “out” for the owner?

23 May 2017: Gungah Bay Road – inappropriate trimming. This is a common complaint of  street trees around wires. The example 33 Gungah bay Road was sent to us by a concerned resident. Here a substantial part of Council’s street tree which forked eastwards towards the property, at 33 Gungah bay Road has been removed. The tree now appears to be unbalanced and may be in danger of toppling into the street. Georges River Council have been asked to investigate and advise what action Council is taking in this matter.

Urban Habitat Creation

Georges River Council is drawing on the expertise of specialist arborist, Michael Sullings from Sydney Arbor Trees to create nest boxes in dead trees that would otherwise have been cut down and mulched. The preserving of’wildlife trees’ is increasingly important as urban sprawl drastically reduces the number of suitable habitat trees.

Michael and his team use small chainsaws to ‘sculpt’ the hollows within the trunk or branch of the tree. The size and configuration of the hollow will depend on both the tree size and the target animals. More on  urban habitat creation

 

In the Georges River local government area work has been completed on trees in:

Depot Roberts Road

Myles Dunphy Reserve

Oatley Memorial Gardens

Spooner Park

Waterside Parade, Peakhurst Heights 

In the modern age, trees are usually viewed in terms of amenity and safety, with unsafe trees being removed entirely. What is generally overlooked is which aspects of the tree could be retained for the benefit of local wildlife and biodiversity. 

Dead and decaying wood is a food source for insects and other invertebrates, which are in turn food for reptiles and mammals and birds. Trees – alive or dead – which contain hollows are habitat for all manner of organisms. 

Cavities in trees can take decades or even centuries to develop into a large enough space for birds and animals to live in.  It is estimated that 15% of Australian vertebrate species use natural tree hollows for nesting, raising young and housing1. In NSW alone, over 150 species of wildlife use cavities, and are referred to as obligate hollow users. Around 40 of these species are listed as vulnerable or endangered

As people come to a greater understanding of the importance of urban wildlife, and the supporting role that trees – dead as well as living – play, hopefully dead trees and logs will come to be seen as a thing of beauty or at least a necessity.

Full Report on  urban habitat creation

Developer wants to cut large Blackbutt

Update – 31 July 2017   Thanks to community action this tree has been saved. Council’s position in the matter is that the tree is outside of the footprint of the building and must be preserved. The property owner has conceded that the section 96 modification application for tree removal will be withdrawn and an alternate design will be proposed. In addition we believe that the developer has been fined for damaging a tree in front.


The developer of a dual occupancy that is currently being built at 111 Gungah Bay Road, wants to cut down a beautiful Eucalyptus Piluaris (Blackbutt) in the backyard. Some of you might even be able to see it from where you live as it is at least 28m high.

The original DA for this dual occupancy was presented to Hurstville Council in its dying days last year and the following councillors voted to approve it: DA2015/0319 submitted 28/08/2015 Read Arborist report at:
http://daenquiry.hurstville.nsw.gov.au/…/appl…/default.aspx…

His Worship the Mayor, Councillor V Badalati, Deputy Mayor, Councillor D Sin, Councillor C Drane, Councillor C Hindi, Councillor R Kastanias, Councillor J Mining, Councillor P Sansom

In the process permission was granted for the removal of five (5) trees, now gone but this tree and five others were to be retained. Tree 2 was only meant to have a branch trimmed, as indicated by arrow. However, this tree has already been subjected to non compliant pruning by the current developer. The tree is located towards the corner of the block of land where it has minimal impact on dwellings.

MCubed Design has now lodged (15 June 2017) a modification application to remove this tree.
If you are concerned and object to this proposal write to Georges River Council at mail@georgesriver.nsw.gov.au with MOD2017/0067 Removal of tree in South-East corner at 111 Gungah Bay Road, OATLEY in the subject line ASAP.

On behalf of the tree, thanks!

 

 

 

Holding Back the Concrete – Dorothy Luther

HOLDING BACK THE CONCRETE – URBAN BUSH PROJECTS
DOROTHY LUTHER – OATLEY RSL 26 MAY AT 7:30PM

Inner Sydney is fast becoming a concrete jungle, with high rise apartments & shopping centres driving out the houses & corner shops that formed local communities. Even the remaining houses are being gentrified, with high walls hiding buxus hedges & garden furniture. Trees and gardens are disappearing because they’re untidy & take too much work.

But some intrepid souls are fighting back – a small but determined army of bush carers, community groups & feral gardeners are trying to stem the tide, with support from local governments – also under threat. They’re creating bush pockets, rain gardens, walking & cycle tracks that enable us to still keep in touch with nature & watch the antics of birds & lizards.
This is the story of some of those groups.

BIO
Dorothy Luther says she has been a member of APSoc for about 20 years, since buying an inner suburban house that needed a bush garden. She has been through the struggles of indigenous vs what will grow and has killed many plants in the process. This has led to many discussions with community gardening groups in the area. She is currently investigating rain forest plants since they seem to grow best in the much modified habitat. Her love of plants comes from growing up in the bush, not from any formal studies & botanical names are still confusing.


 
 

Guide to Trees of Georges River Council Area

Historically, the tree cover of Georges River has been the result of a complex interaction between soil types and topography.

Ridge Top – The higher ridgetops which dominate the former Kogarah and Hurstville Local Government Areas have soils derived from the Wianamatta Shale group which break down to clays and thin beds of shale-sandstone soils. Here most of the land has been cleared for housing, leaving only remnants of the previous tree cover. Scattered throughout this area are tall Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) and occasional Woollybutt (Eucalyptus longifolia), Broad-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus fibrosa) and Mugga Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxylon). It was forests of these trees which attracted early loggers who used Forest Road as their access. 

Turpentine

Woollybutt

Broad-leaved Ironbark

Mugga Ironbark

01 Syncarpia glomulifera 03 Eucalyptus longifolia 05 Eucalyptus fibrosa 07 Eucalyptus sideroxylon
02 Syncarpia glomulifera 04 Eucalyptus longifolia 06 Eucalyptus fibrosa 08 Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Syncarpia glomulifera Eucalyptus longifolia Eucalyptus fibrosa Eucalyptus sideroxylon

Georges River Shoreline – The indented shoreline of Georges River and the steep slopes running down to the shore consists predominantly of the Hawkesbury Sandstone group, with the soils a mixture of skeletal sands, blocks of weathered sandstone and some small shale lenses. Here the tree cover is more intact. On the upper slopes there is often a woodland with taller trees including Smooth-barked Apple (Angophora costata), Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera) and Sydney Peppermint (Eucalyptus piperita ).


Smooth-barked Apple
Red Bloodwood
Sydney Peppermint 
09 Angophora costata 11 Corymbia gummifera 13 Eucalyptus piperita
10 Angophora costata 12 Corymbia gummifera 14 Eucalyptus piperita
 Angophora costata  Corymbia gummifera  Eucalyptus piperita

 

On the protected slopes there is a richer vegetation and more varied large tree presence. The dominant species are Smooth-barked Apple, Grey Gum (Eucalyptus punctata) and Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis). Extensive Grey Mangrove (Avicennia marina) forests occur in sheltered areas of the Georges River but only a few individual plants (chiefly in Lime Kiln Bay) grow to tree-like size.

Grey Mangrove Grey Gum Blackbutt
23 Avicennia marina 15 Eucalyptus punctata 17 Eucalyptus pilularis
24 Avicennia marina 16 Eucalyptus punctata 18 Eucalyptus pilularis

Avicennia marina

Eucalyptus punctata

Eucalyptus pilularis


Oatley Park

One area of special interest is the sandstone-shale interface which occurs near the entrance to Oatley Park. Here there is a very localised stand of the large Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus sclerophylla), some on the margin of Oatley Park Avenue. Nearby on the slopes, benefiting from the richer soils, is the tall Brown Stringybark (Eucalyptus capitellata).

Scribbly Gum

Eucalyptus sclerophylla

 

19 Eucalyptus sclerophylla

 

 

20 Eucalyptus sclerophylla

Brown Stringybark Eucalyptus capitellata

22 a Eucalyptus resinifera

21 Eucalyptus resinifera 22 Eucalyptus resinifera

 

Guide and photos by Alan Fairley author of Native Plants of the Sydney District

 

Greening Oatley West Rail Park

Oatley West Train Park PlantingMatt Allison organised an OFF tree planting ‘event’ on Sunday 28 May at the Oatley West Rail Park (next to the underpass). We put in over 300 shrubs, grasses and ground covers as well as two trees – a Sydney Iron Bark and a Turpentine. Both are appropriate for the area.  OFF is working towards making our urban spaces greener as in  202020 Vision has been helpful in framing our latest project on trees.

VIEW PHOTO ALBUM

Oatley West Train Park PlantingOFF dedicated the Iron Bark to the memory of Glen Turner, the OEH Officer murdered while trying to prevent illegal land clearing in Moree district in 2014. Remnant natural vegetation on farms was being cleared by a greedy and insensitive farmer who disregarded the essential habitat needed to support koalas among many other creatures. Glen’s murder was essentially ignored by our state government who are keen to further weaken laws to protect native vegetation. To learn more about this significant Australian story look for the movie “Cultivating Murder” which was shown by OFF at our meeting back in April at the RSL.

P1020236The Turpentine was planted in memory of Val Boyan, an active member of OFF for many years before her death in 2014.  The nearby Myles Dunphy Bush reserve contains Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest (STIF) which is an Endangered Ecological Community. It is the only remnant in the Georges River LGA that is of good quality, retaining a tree canopy, under story and ground cover of native species. To accommodate the development on the former Oatley Bowling Club, trees and shrubs at the entrance to the site will need to be cleared as asset protection from bushfire danger. This will see the removal or severe disturbance of a strip of Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest (an Endangered Ecological Community under NSW legislation ) up to 20 m wide at a location where the Bushland Reserve is only 50 m wide.

We will be holding a second planting day in the coming month to complete the work at the site so keep a lookout for the details on our Facebook page .                                  

VIEW PHOTO ALBUM