New policy to tackle tree issues

Burdekin Shire Council has adopted a new tree policy in an effort to reduce the impact of trees on council infrastructure.

Burdekin Shire Mayor Bill Lowis said there were many instances of trees being planted on Council land which, on reaching maturity, had lifted the footpath or road and intruded into underground services.

“As a result Council has now set some guidelines for residents to follow so these sorts of issues can be avoided,” he said.

“The new tree policy will reduce the risks of tree damage to property, injury to people, intrusion into underground services and cut future maintenance costs to Council.

“Our officers have reviewed all past customer complaints regarding trees on Council land and taken these into consideration in developing a policy to cover those issues.”

Cr Lowis said the tree policy would provide Council with the framework for the management and maintenance of trees within the Shire.

“The new policy will cover trees planted on or which may affect Council-owned or controlled land,” he said.

“This also covers trees on private land which overhang the boundary and interfere with the use of a footpath or the line of sight for vehicles.

“Under the new policy, Council will be able to issue the owners of the nuisance tree with a notice to rectify these kinds of tree issues.

“Council has, in the past, borne the costs associated with this kind of maintenance, but this cost will now revert back to the owner of the tree.”

Cr Lowis said the policy also would require residents to make an application to Council before planting a tree on Council-owned land.

“As part of the application process, residents will be required to identify the species of tree they intend to plant and the intended location of the tree,” he said.

“If we know what sort of tree it is and where the tree is going before it’s planted then we can reduce future problems in regards to interference with Council infrastructure.

“Residents also will be responsible for ongoing maintenance on any tree they have approval to plant on Council land.”

Cr Lowis said there would be no cost for lodging application to plant a tree on Council land.

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