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New Vegetation Management Policy proposed

September 17, 2021

Upper Lachlan Shire Council is proposing a new Vegetation Management Policy to replace the previous Tree Preservation Order.

Director of Environment and Planning, Alex Waldron, said that the new policy would bring the Shire more closely in line with what other Councils are doing to meet the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).

“Previously, people have needed to apply to Council for approval to remove a tree in the towns and villages of the Shire if it exceeded a certain size,” she said.

“Now, following a state government policy, Council is required to focus more on the types of vegetation that are appropriate within a particular setting.

“So the new policy moved away from looking at just trees, to a wider view of vegetation, and also seeks to include rural properties and not just towns and villages. And it doesn’t just deal with the removal of plants and vegetation, but also seeks to promote the inclusion of particular species.”

The current provisions for the management of vegetation were written in 2010 and are no longer compliant with State government policy or the local community’s needs. 

Council reviewed the policy following research into how other councils manage vegetation applications, including input from various community members and information from government departments.

As a result, Council has resolved to amend the Upper Lachlan Development Control Plan 2010 by Deleting Clause 4.2.1 (Tree and Vegetation Preservation) and inserting a new clause. 

The purpose of the new section is to clarify the rules for removing trees and other vegetation under part three of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-rural Areas) 2017 (Vegetation SEPP).

The amendment to the development control plan supports the aims of the vegetation SEPP to protect the biodiversity values of trees and other vegetation. 

It will attempt to achieve the long-term retention of existing trees, provide for appropriate tree maintenance, and consideration for species replacement.

The amendments provide for the protection and enhancement of trees and vegetation in non-rural areas, including street trees, park trees and trees on private property as a community and tourism asset, and to facilitate the removal or pruning of undesired exotics, environmental weeds, priority weeds, dangerous trees and any other inappropriate plantings. 

For example, where trees are causing damage to buildings or other infrastructure, it may be appropriate to remove them.

In addition, the new policy will facilitate the removal or pruning of vegetation for maintenance of existing rural infrastructure; and minimise impacts to vegetation with high environmental value. These might include threatened ecological communities, threatened species and their habitats.

The Council will receive submissions on this draft amendment between Wednesday 22 September 2021 and Tuesday 19 October 2021.

Last modified: September 17, 2021

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