The City of Unley needs a Tree Policy that works for all. One that balances all the needs of our Community. To achieve this I make this election pledge: to develop a tree policy that works for all.
I pledge to fight for an improved tree policy, one that recognises all needs. A tree policy that works for all.
With a loss of 23% of tree canopy in recent times there has been a cry from many in our community to introduce measures that protect against further loss. Equally there have been many in our community incensed with trees they view as dangerous which are not removed.
We must find a balance between the two. To have a tree policy that works for all, we must address all of the following (not just one): A policy that:
- Retains and/or improves the tree canopy cover in the City of Unley
- Provides shade in our streets
- That does not inhibit accessibility for all
- Avoids danger to Life and property
Two major contributors to the loss of canopy cover are the loss of trees on private property, through redevelopment. This is through the conversion of single houses into 2, 3 or even 4 in its place. It comes also from home improvements.
We need to find ways to ensure we have a responsible tree cover notwithstanding our communities desires for accommodation.
Shade is essential as our citizens walk or cycle in our public spaces. We can do this. My own observations within the Clarence Park Ward is we still have room for more street and park plantings. I will advocate for this.
At the same time we need to be conscious that we all need to be able to move around our streets. That is able people, mothers and kids (including in prams), aged persons and those of us with disabilities.
We need therefore to be discerning about where we plant trees.
Danger to Life and Property
As much as we have a need to encourage increased tree cover we need to look at ensuring the safety of our community. Safety of both person and property.
✓ We need a tree policy that recognises trip and slipping hazards on our footpaths.
✓ We need a tree policy that recognises the dangers a tree may present with dropping limbs/branches onto houses, onto people (kids in particular).
We need to recognise the nuisance value of trees that may contribute to leaking in houses due to gutter blockages etc.
Only by addressing all these competing interests can we expect to develop a tree policy that works for all.
Written & authorised by Don Palmer. 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park.