Media Release: Illegal tree removals in Monash a focus for enforcement
26 February 2018
Monash Council is putting builders, developers and residents on notice that it is taking action on illegal tree removals.
Mayor Shane McCluskey said enforcement action such as fines and, in particular, court action sent a strong message that there were consequences to acting contrary to planning permits.
“We value our trees and vegetation in Monash and we want people to know that you cannot remove a tree without the proper permit and expect that we will not act on it,” Cr McCluskey said.
“Our community has expectations around the City of Monash’s garden character and the protection and retention of trees and vegetation.”
Council recently prosecuted a developer and builder who were forced to pay more than $41,000 in fines and costs for clearing trees on a residential site in Mount Waverley.
Council officers were made aware that vegetation at 27 Miller Crescent, Mount Waverley was cleared, which was in contravention of the planning permit for the site that clearly identified the trees that were to be retained and the ones to be removed.
The builder appeared at Ringwood Magistrates’ Court in late 2018 and was fined $12,000 without conviction.
The Company (owner of the site) was charged $11,000 plus $2,522.05 costs. One of the directors of the company was fined $7,000 plus $2,522.05 costs and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.
The demolition company engaged for the site was fined $1,500 plus $4,900 costs.
Council is also currently investigating illegal tree removals in Glen Waverley by unqualified tree loppers after a complaint by a resident who saw the works taking place.
Council’s Planning Compliance Officers were able to respond to the complaints and visit the site to stop works as they were occuring.
Cr McCluskey said the community’s help was important and he encouraged anyone with concerns about trees or developers who may be removing vegetation without a required permit to contact Council.
Council’s Urban Landscape and Canopy Vegetation Strategy was adopted in October 2018 and highlights the importance of green space and nature to the community and environment incuding heath and wellbeing, environmental benefits and civic pride.
Anyone with concerns about illegal tree removals can contact Council’s Planning Investigations Team on 9518 3555.