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SSC Newspaper : October 2010
october 2010 8 Strathfield Scene OPINION "Trees require less maintenance than a lawn of the same size, are cheaper to maintain than the family pet and on average are safer than stairs.” -- Mark Hartley. THE INNER WEST has been hit by a spate of tree poisoning incidents. Some councils have taken to pu ing "shame" notices on their stricken trunks. It is hard not to feel sadness at the sight of a once proud, decades old specimen dying in the street. Trees contribute signi cantly to the environment by ltering dust, reducing rainwater runo , providing shade and o ering habitat and food for organisms too numerous to mention. As a result nearly all trees are covered by a Tree Preservation Order or similar order under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (1979) NSW. ese tree preservation orders require that consent is obtained from the local council before a tree is poisoned. Not surprisingly, the local council is normally more likely to give consent to remove a tree than for a tree to be poisoned. e reason that councils are reluctant to approve the poisoning of a tree in part relates to a second piece of legislation that protects trees: the Crimes Act (1900) NSW. Whilst poisoning your own tree may be a serious ma er that is subject to a large ne, poisoning a tree that belongs to another person can be a very serious ma er that can result in a prison sentence of ve years. Why are councils reluctant to support the poisoning of even your own trees? e answer in part lies below the ground. It is not uncommon for closely related trees to have their roots gra ed together. When this happens and a tree is poisoned, it can also result in the poisoning of any tree that has root gra s with the poisoned tree. ere have been several occasions where the poisoning of a single tree has resulted in the death of a dozen or more trees. As a result tree experts (arborists) take great care in checking for closely related trees on surrounding properties before they poison a stump of any tree they remove. ey will normally recommend stump grinding over poisoning. If you have a tree problem you can apply for approval for works under the Tree Preservation Order and seek the advice of a consulting arborist. If it is a neighbour's tree that is causing problems you can apply for orders under the Trees (Disputes between Neighbours) Act (2006) NSW. Unfortunately most tree problems are o en blown out of perspective. Trees require less maintenance than a lawn of the same area, are cheaper to maintain than the family pet and on average are safer than stairs. And when it comes to storms, trees can actually reduce the damage caused to buildings. In most cases pu ing up with a li le inconvenience is really not asking for much when you consider the bene ts trees provide. Don't be fooled into believing that poisoning a tree does not result in obvious signs. To a trained tree expert, a poisoned tree is usually very obvious even at a distance of several hundred metres. Mark Hartley is a spokesman for the National Arborists' Association of Australia. LOVELY, BUT EXPENSIVE I love Strath eld because it's nice and clean. I love the houses but it's still a li le too expensive for my family to move here. It's peaceful and quiet which is the best thing about it. Joanne Zogahaib PARKING A NIGHTMARE e parking [in Strath eld] is shocking. I work around the area and it gets so congested. Brad Armstrong FENCE SI ER I've lived here for 45 years and, to be honest, I'm not that interested in the local politics because candidates and councillors come and go. But I am generally very happy with the area. Pat TOO MUCH NOISE Strath eld is a nice place but sometimes it's really noisy around the station area. Especially a er school with all the kids wandering around. Chris Kim COFFEE MAGNET I come here for the good co ee and I do really like the area. It gets really busy in the mornings and the evenings -- but otherwise I love the area. Naim Lut NO BY ELECTION e Strath eld by-election is a waste of tax payers money and it's wasting people's time. CC's Chargrill Chicken LEADERS WANTED I think for the councillor elections, I'd like to see a councillor who is knowledgeable, trustworthy and has good leadership skills. In relation to the hanging of the washing, I don't really see the problem about the issue. Joseph Sahyoun GREAT PUBLIC T NSPORT I nd Strath eld rather expensive but the best part about the suburb is how convenient the location is because of the train station. Sharon Ng DIRTY LAUNDRY To be honest, I think hanging out the washing at apartment buildings doesn't look good. It cheapens the area. Anonymous HANGING OUT I don't really hang around the plaza, but I have lots of friends here. It varies where we hang out. Cameron Lee PARKING INADEQUATE e parking around the [Strath eld] town centre is a major problem. Len Smith ANOTHER COFFEE FAN I use to live in Strath eld but I live in Croydon now. I still come here every day to access my postbox and I come here for the co ee. Gaby Bernhard CONTACT US Send your letters and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org e place where Strath eld speaks its mind Reporter Bernade e Chua asks people about the council by-election, washing lines and other local issues in Strath eld. YOUR SAY: Joanne Zogahaib Joseph Sahyoun Looks like a scene from Out of A ica but it's actually Flemington's Sydney Markets. Photograph by Upasana Cha opadhyay Why killing trees is wrong Stratty Soapbox