Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4976 ..
Questions without notice taken on notice
Environment—tree felling—Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Mr STANHOPE (in reply to a question by Ms Le Couteur): The subject tree was provisionally registered in August 2009 having been assessed by the Tree Protection Unit, Territory and Municipal Services, as meeting the criteria for provisional registration under the provisions of the Disallowable Instrument Tree Protection (Criteria for Registration and Cancellation of Registration) Determination 2006 (“the Instrument”). The tree was entered on the Provisional Register for it’s size, stature and aesthetic landscape value.
A development application for the construction of the student accommodation was lodged with the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) prior to a decision being made on the provisional registration of the tree.
The Instrument explicitly states that the Conservator may not consider a tree for registration if it meets any of the criteria for cancellation. There are four such criteria. One precludes registration if, on advice from ACTPLA, doing so will significantly compromise the broader strategic planning objectives of the Territory Plan. ACTPLA provided advice to that effect and the tree could not, therefore, be registered.
You also asked when the Conservator negotiatiated. The Conservator did not negotiate with any party. The Conservator received submissions from interested individuals and groups and sought advice from relevant Government agencies as required by the Instrument.
Mr STANHOPE (in reply to a supplementary question by Ms Hunter): Listing and removal of trees on the Tree Register are not matters of Government policy. These decisions are made independently by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna in accord with relevant legislation.
Provisional and final registration transparent decisions that involve the opportunity for public comment and are made in conformity with relevant statutes.
Once a tree is on the Tree Register it can only be removed in the circumstances outlined in Disallowable Instrument Tree Protection (Criteria for Registration and Cancellation of Registration) Determination 2006 i.e. the tree no longer meets the criteria for registration; or represents an unacceptable risk to public or private safety; or is shown to be causing substantial damage to a substantial building, structure or service that will require ongoing and extensive remediation measures.
In addition the Conservator may only cancel the registration of a tree if all reasonable remedial treatments and risk mitigation measures have been determined to be ineffective.
Mr STANHOPE (in reply to a supplementary question by Ms Bresnan): There has been no dismissal of the Tree Register, real or apparent. The decision in this case was made in accordance with the relevant legislation.