Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Council is all talk no action. That is what I heard one woman say recently about our tree canopy strategy as I watched multiple regulated trees being removed from a house property adjacent to the Clarence Park Rail Station.

I heard her say this as she passed me to access the Station Platform. 


She was clearly distressed as was I and several neighbours; to see such carnage of our local tree amenity. I can understand her frustration. Like the neighbours I was with at the time, I share her sense of loss.

This event took place a mere two weeks after the deadline for members of our community to contribute to our recent tree survey.

I doubt this lady knew who I was. As she was rushing, I presumed she was unfortunately not in a position to speak.

While I refrained from so doing, the incident prompted me to write this blog post. In doing so, I hope I can educate others that this decimation is exactly why the Council keeps on about our tree canopy. And why in addition we appear (by not refusing removal) to be doing nothing.

Her comments led me to believe she believed the Council could have and should have stopped it from happening. Her remarks, all talk no action can only be interpreted that she believes we are not serious. That we are simply preaching for the sake of it. Perhaps, just political posturing.

In this case, as with so many, there was nothing the Council could do to stop the carnage. State legislation unfortunately prevents us from preventing the removal of any of the trees.

And this is why we keep on talking about it. It is why we have sought assurances that the current Minister for Planning would give favourable consideration to our current proposals to save further loss of trees from private property.

Local government has no power to prevent the loss of canopy we are experiencing across Adelaide, and here in the City of Unley. We need it and we will therefore continue to campaign for it.

I believe we have our community behind us on this. We will soon see as we analyse the results of our tree survey. Hopefully, we will see others (who believe we may be all talk and no action recognise why you hear us but we are not stopping the carnage) understand the truth and get on board.

That all said, this site supported a mini-forest. And fortunately, there is good news.

Council’s LiDAR imagery indicated that the tree canopy in 2021 was a mammoth 71%. Not many properties would have a coverage as dense as this. I think we could count on one hand how many properties in Black Forest have or had a tree canopy of such intensity.

By my assessment, the canopy coverage of the remaining trees will be close to 20% of the site area. Those who are familiar with the Council’s strategy will know we are seeking to obtain 15% coverage on private properties in order to reach our 2033 goal.

Thankfully therefore for them, this property owner will still comply, comfortably. Does your property? Check it out here.