Anger at Proposed Changes to Foreshore Controls

St George and Sutherland Leader (29 May 2020) published concerns of community groups concerns about proposed changes to foreshore controls contained in Georges River Council’s draft Local Environmental Plan. There are fears the proposed removal of more than 2300 properties from foreshore protection in the former Hurstville local government area will lead to increased density, a loss of trees and biodiversity and threaten water quality with pollution run-off.

A total of 1183 lots in Oatley will be removed from the foreshore protection zone, 253 lots in Mortdale, 282 in Peakhurst Heights, 114 in Peakhurst, 534 in Lugarno and 14 in Riverwood.



Georges River Environmental Alliance

Friends of Oatley

Local Biologist

Oatley Flora and Fauna Society

Local Residents

Local member for Oatley Mark Coure showed his support of resident’s concerns on the proposed LEP by an online petition and letter to residents. – Read Letter

George’s River Council claims it must harmonise it’s controls along the Foreshore. That is moving to the lowest common denominator in environmental protection. So the outcome is to make the riverscape in the first photo more like that in the second


Community Planting Day at River Road Reserve

Over thirty Oatley Flora and Fauna members, friends and community members gathered on Sunday (5th August)  morning at River Road Reserve to extend our successful planting from one year ago near the railway underpass in Oatley.

We planted over 500 native trees, shrubs and grasses purchased from the Sutherland Shire Nursery, with a grant from the Minister for the Environment’s Conservation Fund, which was sourced through local member Mark Coure who attended on the day..

We hope that this planting will provide a balance to the increasing urban density and paved areas in Oatley which have resulted in a loss of green space.


104 Gungah Bay and Wonoona Parade

In early February 2018 residents noticed that the tree on the corner of  104 Gungah Bay Road and Woronora parade appeared to be dying. I seems likely that work carried out in Nov/December 2017 under the road and kerb on Woronora Road killed tree

Thank you to Anne Wagstaff for keeping up with this issue.  Council reply to her inquiry is:

The installation of stormwater pipe works between August and November 2017 was in close proximity to a number of street trees located along Wonoona Pde and Gungah Bay Rd.

The drainage works were undertaken to comply with the Condition of Consent for 102 Gungah Bay Rd.

This tree had been monitored since the completion of drainage works. Attempts were made to water it and complete remedial pruning works. The tree continued to decline rapidly and was removed on 15 February 2018. Two new street tree plantings are programmed to occur in this location within the next 4-8 weeks.

The tree suffered stress due to the installation of the new stormwater pipe, It is believed that this was compounded by the extremely dry summer which sent the tree into decline.

Council is currently investigating whether action can be taken against the drainage contractor.

See our page on threatened or lost trees

Dying tree at 36 Myall Street

On 12 February resident posted on Georges River facebook site that a large Eucalypt in front on 36 Myall Street was dying. A photo taken when the property was sold in August 2017 shows the tree in good condition. Georges River Council have been requested to investigate.

Gungah Bay Road Tree Removal

On 10/11/2017  Oatley Flora and Fauna Conservation Society received a copy of the letter sent to the residents of Gungah Bay Road advising them of the removal of Eucalyptus microcorys (Tallowood) under power lines on Gungah Bay Road between Roberts Avenue and Acacia Street.

letter states …..“The Tallowoods are an inappropriate species and are too large to be located under the power lines. Unfortunately, the trees have not responded well to the regular pruning around the electricity network, resulting in poor structure and loss of visual amenity. “

It is expected that the tree removal will occur between 20 November and 28 November 2017. The new trees Tristaniopsis laurina (Water Gum). will be planted within one month of removal and stump grinding.

If you would like any further information in relation to this matter, please contact Ausgrid Vegetation Officer-Horticulturalist, Paul Holmes on 9269 7501 or Council’s Tree Management Officer, Stephen Lunniss on 9330 6400.”


We assume that tree removal will be on the eastern side of the road, judging by the notice to residents and that there are no power lines on the western side.

It is a shame to lose mature trees like these, however we understand why they want to do this as the trees are pretty well butchered now and replacing them would mean that there would be consistency in the planting giving an aesthetically pleasing street view.


Tree Officer has informed us that they will plant 2 for 1 when replacing the Tallowoods (17, although we have counted 19 + 1 bottle-brush) and filling in the many gaps. This is an opportunity for infill planting required outside 19 to 21 and 31 to 41.

Council could also consider alternatives such as Wallum Banksia (Banksia aemula), Dwarf Apple (Angophora hispida) or even Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum).





Tree outside No13 can be retained,

as it seems to have survived pruning

and gone round the wires


It has been suggested that Aerial Bundling would be an alternative. Ausgrid will have to pay for that;it could be argued as they save on future pruning and in the long term cost saving. Also early appropriate pruning needs to be considered. Trees can grow around and above the wires. This needs long term planning on the part of Ausgrid. We urge Council to act on behalf of the residents to put forward such a case.

The Society will like a commitment from the council that tall trees will be placed in appropriate areas to compensate for the removal of mature tall trees as a part of their Tree Canopy Enhancement policy. Currently the water gums are the only large tree being planted this tree only grows 10-12 metres where as trees such as the Tallowood grow to 30 metres.

Tree Nominations – Community Input Needed

Unlike many Councils in Sydney, Georges River Council does not have a Significant Tree register for all valuable trees, it only has ones of heritage interest.

If Council does not protect our significant trees we are likely to lose most if not all our old trees that were planted when the suburbs were first established. 

A Significant Tree Register is being established by OFF to protect trees on public land. This may be extended as the project develops.

Generally, trees are assessed to evaluate their importance in relation to:

  • The tree’s historic &/or natural value

  • The tree’s social, cultural & commemorative value

  • Its visual & aesthetic value

  • Whether the tree is particularly old or vulnerable

  • Whether it is a rare species of tree

  • If it has horticultural or genetic value

  • Whether it has natural significance

A form has been created so that you can nominate trees that you think are significant & should be protected by a Significant Tree Register.  Your personal details will not be published.





Suspicious Demise of Palm at 2 Baker Street

It has come to our attention that the very large palm tree outside 2 Baker Street has possibly been poisoned. A request has been made to council to inspect the site and test for possible poisoning. It seems very convenient if the tree has to be cut down for the occupant of the newly refurbished garage into accommodation. Council have informed us that Council intend to maintain the stump.
Trimming of the dead fronds occurred today (08/09/17). There are a few green fronds. We hope it will survive!


23 Bay Road Development – Massive Tree Removal

A development proposal has come to our attention that will mean the removal of at least 30 trees, mainly very large significant Blackbutts. The proposal  is to demolish the existing dwelling and construction of two freestanding dwellings with bulk excavation including rock.
The Arborists report for Lot 22 indicates 24 trees of which 19 are to be removed and 5 having major impact.
The Arborists report for Lot 23 indicates 12 trees of which 11 are to be removed.
Total tree loss of 30 trees for both developments!
The Development applications can be followed on the Council website using the following DA application numbers: DA2017/0197 & DA2017/0198
 The following documents provide detail on the trees to be removed:
We urge you to make an online submission to council, against this development quoting the specific DA numbers. Submissions need to be made by 20 September 2017.

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.

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.