40B Frederick Street, Oatley NSW 2223

Modification of Consent No DA2018/0357 for alterations and additions to a dwelling house. The modifications include changes to conditions of consent regarding tree retention/protection.

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We found this application for you on the planning authority's website 10 days ago. It was received by them 1 day earlier.

(Source: Georges River Council, reference MOD2020/0142)

1 Comment

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  1. Sophia P commented

    I am alarmed at the number of large trees that have been cut down in our area over the past decade/s. What has been the loss of trees over that period? What is the loss of canopy coverage over the past years? Replanting has not caught up with the losses. We have far less medium and large sized trees compared to a decade ago. We need to do everything we can to retain the existing native and habitat trees, as trees provide important goods and services and trees take many years to mature to be of a size that provides habitat or hollows for native animals. We need to value other non-native trees that provide other services, and may provide forage for other animals.

    There needs to be a much greater assessment of their worth, their integrity as service providers, and every effort made to preserve a tree and engineering work done to protect those that we have.

    All our native trees whether five years, ten, twenty, or more years of age have taken that many years to reach their height, their crown width, to provide shade and habitat for animals. Those years cannot be caught up on, we are constantly in deficit (in loss of overall canopy and overall tree ecosystem services) as soon as we start lopping our large trees.

    We need a serious rethink at how quickly trees are cut down, particularly our medium and larger trees need to be carefully managed to ensure tree roots can be protected - damaged waterpipes can be replaced by more appropriate materials, paths can be reconcreted/or paved to have a gentle undulation over lifted segments, branches that are assessed to be dangerous can be pruned, and perhaps their logs places in regenerating areas to provide habitat. New buildings can be built around existing trees. Supports can be placed under branches.

    Too often the inconvenience of trees are sighted by developers. The damage of removing our trees is multifactorial and impacting on native fauna, and also being felt by people, and the loss of shade/moisture retention provided by trees will be felt more severely as climate impacts increase. We know that areas shaded are several degrees cooler than unshaded areas. Any pedestrian knows in summer that we need more large canopy trees planted by footpaths, because walking in the heat of the day is extreme in summer and the only respite is the shade of a tree or an awning. This is a need.

    It takes generations for our trees to grow to the height and canopy coverage of the old growth trees, that it seems absurd that we are throwing away the tree ecosystem services each medium and large tree provides (and will go onto provide in greater ways as it grows). We need to do our utmost to protect them.

    What is the true cost to our environment of removing a tree? Each tree and its value to local species of native animals needs to be taken into account. A tree in its lifetime is forage for perhaps thousands of animals, all the nectar feeding birds need our eucalypts. A tree takes many decades to be large enough for animals to use it as a nest/home, such as possums, gliders, birds. And it takes longer still for hollows to form. In terms of bird life coming into the area - the loss of millions of hectares of bushland on areas skirting around Sydney has likely brought more birds into suburban areas, there is greater demand for nesting sites. The needs of migrating, of temporary of refugee species needs to be considered carefully and in full. Every tree considered for removal needs to be carefully assessed. What uses this tree for forage? What uses this tree for nesting? What uses this tree to live in and around? What does this tree shade? How much oxygen is this tree providing? What visual amenity is provided by this tree? How does this tree support other life around it? How does this tree lower air pollution levels? What will be the drop in enjoyment of other locals if this tree is removed?

    The loss of shade and increasing temperatures as we lose canopy is a huge matter of concern. Our city is becoming more unliveable as climate changes due to increases greenhouse gas emissions. Trees are protective and their shade provision and moisture retention in soils, and their transevoporation, is incredibly valuable for local fauna and flora. We need to prioritise strategies such as the retention and planting of shade providing trees to reduce the heat island effect. Too many trees are being removed, and it takes too long for the replanted ones to take their place as canopy and shade providers. Georges River Council needs to be more concerned about this matter as we have lost many trees already in recent decades in this local government area, and the replanted trees are often smaller species. They will not provide the same ecosystem and other goods and services as the larger gums that have been removed.
    The studies in Penrith and Parramatta show that the proportion of built environment to canopy has a significant impact on temperatures, and the removal of tree canopy could end up pushing temperatures beyond thresholds and lead to greater numbers of heat exhaustion and related illness/mortality. Planning needs to prioritise tree protection and retention, and large tree planting.

    The cost of tree removal is much greater than we imagine at first glance, and the true cost of losing our tree canopy is rising temperatures, less visual amenity, less oxygen production, and studies demonstrate a link between trees and green spaces and increased well-being, for a significant number the loss of tree is lowering our well-being and sense of enjoyment and sense of connection to place. The decision to remove a tree should not be made where any other possibility of remediation exists. We need to build around (rather than decimating) our trees. We need to engineer solutions to protect and save our trees. Those solutions are already available it just needs to be put in place. The cost of not protecting trees could indeed by loss of local native species, and the loss of human well-being, and increase in heat exhaustion and illness due to lack of canopy.

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