Thursday, 19 October 2023


Tree removal


Tree removal

Ann-Marie HERMANS (South-Eastern Metropolitan) (18:19): (529) My adjournment is for the Minister for Planning, and the action I seek is for the minister to properly and equitably consider Monash City Council’s strategically justified and repeated requests for tree control, as these controls already apply in the cities of Maroondah and Whitehorse. The request that the council, the mayor, the constituents and I would like is for the minister to (1) approve council’s current request for interim tree removal controls across Monash through the significant landscape overlay in amendment C165, or (2) implement the proposed statewide tree removal controls as a matter of urgency.

I have been approached by the mayor of Monash, who is extremely frustrated at the government’s inaction in assisting in managing and improving the landscape and tree canopy of Monash. The negotiations have been going on for five years. For the mayor to contact me shows how really concerned the council are and how rejected they feel by the government constantly ignoring their calls for action. One of the issues that is key is the loss of gardens and canopy trees. Remember, trees and canopy provide positive environmental greenery. When we have so many people with mental health issues at the moment, this would be considered to be a good thing. What is more, recently it has been shown that without tree canopy we have a slight increase in urban heat resulting from the reduction in greenery in our suburbs. Council has worked on a number of efforts to protect the suburban environment and provide tree canopy cover as well as implement the state’s policy on cooling and greening Melbourne.

Of specific interest is amendment C165, which is a request for a ministerial amendment and proposes interim tree controls through the significant landscape overlays. It was submitted to the Department of Transport and Planning in May 2021 but is still with the department pending a decision. The City of Monash, the mayor, my constituents and I all want to know why, two years after the previous minister decided to refuse the initial request for tree controls, which have been acceptable in Whitehorse since 2017 and in Maroondah for over 20 years, they are able to have these controls in place. I call on the minister to support the people in the City of Monash and to consider at least one of these requests.