There was rousing applause in the chamber last night when Hornsby Shire Council significantly strengthened tree protections, vastly increasing the number of tree species that cannot be removed without Council approval.
“This is great news for everybody who values our title as the Bushland Shire and wants to see our impressive tree canopy preserved,” Hornsby Shire Mayor Philip Ruddock said.
Previously the protections only applied to a list of tree species that were native to Hornsby Shire, but we’ve flipped the rules around. Now all trees are protected, except for a limited list of species that are considered to be weeds or a hazard.
During the exhibition period 132 submissions were received from the public, of which 120 were in support of the increased tree protections – an approval rating of more than 90 percent.
The general rules for tree protection remain the same and the only significant change is that the rules now apply to far more species of tree. Penalties apply for removing or damaging trees that are protected by the Tree and Vegetation Preservation Controls.
If you are thinking of removing a tree on your property, it is now safest to assume it is protected and contact Council.