Councillors voted to harmonise tree and vegetation controls within a single Development Control Plan at a recent ordinary meeting of MidCoast Council.
A seven to three majority voted that the Great Lakes Council Development Control Plan (GLC DCP) be formally amended to remove all tree and vegetation controls, and a workshop be held as soon as possible to discuss the introduction of a significant tree register or other such mechanisms to protect significant trees.
Resident, Ariel Johnson said the decision was more “harm” than “harmonisation”.
“I believe one of council’s parks has a sign, ‘Don’t destroy what you came to enjoy’. Many visitors came here to enjoy the natural green beauty of the landscape and its wildlife. I know many residents like me and my husband came here for that,” she said.
“Koalas and birds may not be considered money spinners because they don’t pay rates, but they attract people who do.
“Council has gone with is the lowest common denominator in terms of protection, why not go with the option that provides the most protection?”
The recommendation that tree and vegetation controls be harmonised arose after council requested a report which reviewed the existing tree protection arrangements in the three former council areas at the strategic committee meeting of August 8, 2018.
There were tree protection controls in parts of the former Great Lakes area, but there are no controls in the Gloucester or Taree areas.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.