After many years of actively conserving and protecting North Sydney’s remnant bushland areas, North Sydney Councillors are considering overturning the current policy that restricts private view pruning in zoned bushland.
We need the community to speak up about defence and protection of our precious remnant bushland. The proposed change will set up a threat to the preservation of all zoned bushland areas.
In 2012 Council received a petition seeking a change to the current policy. 42 residents from 26 properties asked for an exception to be made to enhance their views by pruning mature trees, including indigenous angophora costata - Sydney red gum, in bushland at Brightmore Reserve, Cremorne.
Council’s Bushland Management Co-ordinator presented comprehensive reports at Council meetings on 13 August 2012 and 10 December 2012. http://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/resources/documents/OSES0414.pdf
These reports strongly recommended that the current policy be maintained.
The potential negative implications of changing Council’s long-standing policy can not be understated, particularly as virtually all North Sydney’s bushland occurs either on the foreshore or in close proximity to residential and commercial development.
Following Councillors' site meeting and inspection on 2 March, the matter is likely be back on the agenda for Councillors to vote at the Council meeting on Monday 8 April 2013.
What you can do
Councillors need to know what their constituents want. Please do any or all of the following:
· Sign this petition. It will be forwarded to North Sydney Mayor and Councillors.
· Contact your North Sydney Council representative to express your support for maintaining the current ‘no view pruning’ policy. You can find contacts for your Councillor and the Mayor at http://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council_Meetings/Our_Organisation/Mayor_Councillors
· Share this email with anyone you think might care about protecting our precious urban bushland.
· Speak to your local media and look for opportunities to support us - such as calling in to radio talkback.
Pruning bushland to enhance private views would have significant ramifications for bushland health; it would create an unmanageable precedent; it would devalue the substantial community commitment and investment of time and resources by Bushcare volunteers since 1993.
Tree Preservation Policy
Under Council’s current Tree Preservation Order (2006), following management practice since 1990, pruning for views in zoned bushland is not permitted.
This policy position reflects broad community values that seek to conserve North Sydney’s remnant bushland reserves, managing them for ecological rehabilitation and long-term sustainability rather than purely for perceived visual amenity outcomes.
Heritage & Environment
Pruning bushland vegetation for the purpose of private view enhancement is inconsistent with Council's statutory obligations to conserve and rehabilitate urban bushland under SEPP19 and the general provisions of Council’s 2001 Local Environment Plan.
Brightmore Reserve is an area of zoned bushland and public open space. The remnant bushland is relatively diverse and resilient, supporting four different vegetation communities including a rare Sandstone Gallery Rainforest remnant.
The North Sydney community has consistently demonstrated strong ongoing support and satisfaction with Council's bushland conservation activities and management.