Concrete or street trees? Macri’s retrograde tree policy

Concrete is king under new Marrickville Mayor Victor Macri. 1,600 street trees will be removed, another 4,000 are under threat, and concrete will be prioritised if Council adopts the recommendation on Tuesday night.

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Point 2 of the recommendation states:

“where capital renewal reconstruction works are undertaken and conflict exists between a street tree and footpath renewal made with concrete, that conflict shall be resolved by removal and replacement of the tree and installation of the concrete footpath;”

The 1,600 street trees to face the chainsaw are likely to be the larger more mature trees.

An item on this Tuesday’s business paper for Marrickville Council will ask Councillors to:
*   vote on a new blanket direction allowing the removal of any tree if it ‘conflicts’ with a footpath renewal made of concrete – ie any cracks in pavements;
*   accept a report which has identifView postied almost 1,600 of trees in the Marrickville Local Government Area for removal; and

*   approve $170K increase specifically to speed up removal of street trees over the next two years, on top of the $500,000 already allocated for tree maintenance and removal.

If passed the new policy would allow the removal of any tree no matter what age, species, value or health of the tree, if it is causing damage to a footpath. The report identifies 3,960 trees as causing damage to footpaths – that’s three out of every 20 trees in the LGA.

For a full copy of the papers for the meeting see  – Item 6 – Tree Management – Inventory, Master Plan and Policy Framework.

People are urgently needed to:

*   register to speak at the meeting by completing the online form
*   attend the meeting and show your opposition – 6.30pm, Tuesday 20 Nov 2012, Marrickville Council Chambers, Level 3, 2-14 Fisher St, Petersham;.
*   email the Labor and Independent Councillors (details below).

The majority of residents have repeatedly stated their support for street trees in Marrickville, but the Greens are the minority on the Council so this issue will be decided by the ALP and the Independents.

There has been no consultation with Marrickville environmental groups or its own environmental committees. The new direction would appear to override the environmental commitments Marrickville Council has in place to increase the urban canopy and to maintain and improve our green streets.

It is not proposed that there be any community comment on consultation on the changes, which would come into immediate effect. It is proposed that eventually an over-arching tree strategy will be developed – but not for at least 12 months.

How to contact your local Councillor

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