Anger over Tree Losses

Bev Jordan Anger Over Tree Losses
Long time residents in Kenthurst are furious over the mature tree losses in the area over the past six months saying “enough is enough”.

Several residents have written to Hills Shire Council and local MPs demanding that something be done to stop the damage being carried out in bush blocks.

Dennis van Someren said “the whole community is up in arms about it”.

He said residents have watched in horror as large numbers of trees have been killed on recently purchased blocks in the Kenthurst area, calling it “carnage”.

Residents have been particularly concerned about the loss of approximately 20 mature gum trees on land on the corner of Pitt Town road and Emperor Place at Kenthurst.

“The five-acre block has been denuded of trees that have been there for a long time – no other trees on the road or adjoining properties have been affected,” said Dennis.

He said the block used to be owned by a long-time resident who sold flowers from the front of the property.

He said trees had also been killed on land in Hazeldean Place and Bushland Place at Kenthurst.

He has just joined the Bushland Conservation Committee and is Kenthurst Rotary Club’s conservation director and is intent on pursuing the matter.

Ross Williams, a Kenthurst resident for over 55 years, said he was “truly dismayed and disgusted” by what is happening. I have never seen such wanton destruction of bushland… the devastation is a blight on our community.”

There are fines of $3000 per tree for people found guilty of destroying trees on their property.

Under State legislation fines can range from $3000 for individuals and $6000 for corporations for each offence. Court proceedings for the unauthorised damage (including intentional damage) or removal of a protected trees or vegetation include penalties of up to $1,100,000 if dealt with in the Land and Environment Court or up to $110,000 in the Local Court.

Hills Shire Mayor Dr Peter Gangemi said the illegal removal of trees on both private and public property is a serious issue.

“Council condemns the illegal removal of trees, especially through methods such as poisoning,” he told the Hills to Hawkesbury Community News. “Council does investigate these matters and can pursue enforcement within the confines of state legislation that it is bounded by. “

“I hope this sends a strong message to property owners that removing trees without the correct approvals in place can result in significant fines being issued if any wrong doing is found,” he said.

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