Further Community Engagement And Advocacy

The City will engage with the community and organisations to explore options to strengthen tree protection on private land.

Following a Notice of Motion in July 2022, the City last night provided Council with five regulatory options to consider to increase tree protection in urban environments. A number of Victorian councils, the Department of Transport and Planning, the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Barwon Water, and independent arborists were consulted during investigations.

In recognising the importance of trees, Council resolved to engage with the community and also write to the Minister for Planning and Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) to support a statewide approach to protecting trees on private land in urban areas.

The City received advice from the Department of Transport and Planning that a costly local planning scheme approach was unlikely to be supported in the short term.

Mayor Trent Sullivan

The City will open up consultation with community organisations and the broader community to discuss the issue.

Trees enhance the beauty of our region, improve the community’s physical and mental health, and reduce the urban heat island effect and climate change impacts.

We look forward to hearing from community members about how we can better protect trees in urban environments.

This is also an opportunity to show our support as the state considers methods to strengthen tree protection on private land throughout Victoria.

Councillor Jim Mason

There are currently no consistent state-wide policy provisions on the issue.

We believe a balance can be found between reducing regulation in the housing sector to stimulate development while increasing tree canopy to address increasing heat in urban environments.

I encourage community members to keep an eye on yoursay.geelongaustralia.com.au where an engagement on this issue will become open for discussion.

The City will also consider opportunities to strengthen planning policy as part of the local planning policy framework review.

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