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Rationale for Development (Regulated Trees) Amendment Bill presented by Minister: need for uniformity

Posted by gmarkets on 11 October, 2007

With regard to the Development (Regulated Trees) Amendment Bill, Paul Holloway MP (Minister for Police) said he did not think it possible to get any legislation on significant trees that would satisfy everyone’s concerns.

Differing opinions on the value of trees: Holloway said it was not an area where legislation worked well. As with heritage issues, the value of a tree was very much in the eye of the beholder, with what was an extremely valuable tree to some people being a nuisance and an annoyance to others.

Need for uniform, prescriptive legislation: However, Holloway said that legislation was necessary and that uniformity was needed, so that the present ad hoc decisions concerning tree felling; the lack of consistency between councils; and the additional costs to landholders needing arborists’ reports would be ended. To do so might require more prescriptive legislation and so more regulation – including, for example, details concerning the types of species that might be exempt – in order to simplify the law.

Protection to native vegetation: Holloway said he had consulted widely and had spoken to local government bodies on the matter numerous times. He intended to proceed with the bill on the basis that it was the only opportunity to try to get some rationality into the system. He considered it would not only resolve some of the issues where people had to go to enormous expense to remove trees that should never have been planted, but it would also give better protection to some native vegetation, particularly in places like Mitcham, where there were stands of trees that were small in diameter.

Reference: Paul Holloway, Minister for Police, Legislative Council, South Australia, 11 September 2007.

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