Historic trees being cut down

The Mt Barker Council wants urgent changes to recently introduced tree laws which have led to an alarming rise in the number of trees being cut down in towns.

Mt Barker Council arborist Chris Lawry fears the region will lose many of its significant native and exotic trees unless new regulations are changed.

Some historic trees have already been axed as, under the new laws, those within 20m of a house in the Hills are no longer protected.
One councillor described the new regulations as “completely mad” while the council’s arborist said the district was losing trees “for all the wrong reasons”.
New significant tree regulations are fuelling community confusion and fire risk paranoia that has led to a spike in the number of trees being axed across the Mt Barker district.
Homeowners are cutting down native and exotic trees around the Hills that were once protected by law.
They can now be felled without approval if they are within 20m of a home in a medium to high bushfire risk area – zones that cover all towns in the Mt Barker and Adelaide Hills council areas.
The Mt Barker Council is desperately seeking changes to the regulations, which were introduced by the State Government without consultation last year.
It knows of several historic trees that have been axed under the changed laws and fears many more will be lost.

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.