by Councillor Charles Jago
Last Sunday was National Tree Day. Many mature, critical trees in Canada Bay are in danger of being cut down in the rush for continued development. Whenever a house gets replaced with a duplex, trees are lost. In fact, all significant developments reduce our tree cover. So while Council is doing great work at the moment to plant new trees toward our target of 25% tree canopy across Canada Bay – on public land – we need to find new ways to protect what we have.
We especially need to protect our mature trees that make our suburbs so livable, many on private land.
Frequently, these changes are justified with: “It’s inevitable.” No doubt, development will affect tree cover, but we need to do better at protecting our trees – we are not protecting enough of them. Council needs to find ways to retain more trees.
A major problem occurs with “complying development”. That means that, as long as the development fits a NSW government guideline, it doesn’t even need to get a development approval. Yes, there is a place for complying development, but the extent of damage that occurs must change.
For more on what Council is already doing, see Council’s tree strategy.