Mid Coast councillors have resolved to open its draft Vegetation Management Policy for consultation with the public for 28 working days.
The policy sets out a consistent and targeted process for regulating the removal and pruning of vegetation and applies to private land within the Mid Coast that has ecological and landscape/amenity values.
A report to council's strategic meeting on May 12 provided an overview of the policy and sought council's endorsement to consult on the draft policy and associated mapping, and the draft Development Control Plan provisions.
It stated that internal consultation occurred on the policy to ensure it achieved the desired ecological and landscape/amenity outcomes, and that it can be implemented and complements other projects being undertaken by council.
The policy will be available for 28 working days for the community to review and provide feedback.
Previously, at the ordinary meeting of council on September 26 2018, council considered a report in relation to the harmonisation of tree preservation controls across the Mid Coast.
At this meeting it was resolved to remove the current Tree Preservation Controls.
Following this resolution, the community expressed concern in relation to the potential loss of vegetation across the Great Lakes region.
A number of workshops were held between staff and councillors to discuss principles and concepts around vegetation management, and how to best protect the Mid Coast landscape.
A Greening Strategy was proposed for the MidCoast to provide an over-arching approach to manage and enhance tree canopy cover and green spaces.
A key action of the draft strategy is a targeted Vegetation Management Policy.
A separate report to council at the May 12 meeting detailed the Greening Strategy, which will be consulted alongside the draft Vegetation Management Policy.
Council staff identified the risk of not having a Vegetation Management Policy as a potential increase in vegetation removal and resultant loss in ecological and landscape/amenity values.
The targeted policy ensures there is a consistent approach to vegetation protection across the Mid Coast.
A risk of applying the Vegetation Management Policy over new locations, is pre-emptive clearing prior to the policy being implemented. It is important through community consultation to explain 'why' and 'how' the policy applies.
The recommendation was adopted by council with votes from mayor David West, and councillors Katheryn Smith, Karen Hutchinson, Claire Pontin, Peter Epov and Len Roberts.
Councillors Kathryn Bell and Troy Fowler were not able to participate in the vote due to technical difficulties with the audio visual link of the Zoom webcast.
It states that consultation on the draft Vegetation Management Policy (included in Attachment A) and associated mapping be undertaken for 28 working days and consultation on the draft Vegetation Management Development Control Plan provisions (included in Annexure A) be undertaken for 28 working days.
If submissions are received during the consultation on the Vegetation Management Policy and associated mapping and the Vegetation Management Development Control Plan provisions; a further report be submitted to council addressing the submissions.
In the event that no submissions are received during the consultation, the Vegetation Management Policy and associated mapping; and the Vegetation Management Development Control Plan provisions be adopted as exhibited and published on council's website.
Keep up to date
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
Follow us on Instagram: @manningrivertimes
Follow us on Google News