Large gum trees and residential housing do not mix


Source: ABC News

The tragic death of a toddler in the Victorian Dandenong ranges reaffirms a very strong view I have that large trees, particularly some types of gum trees and houses do not mix.

The biggest frustration for me is that so many councils. the latest that I have been attempting to assist home owners have been in Frankston and Stonnington in Victoria, simply refuse to allow their removal.

In both cases the council has refused in writing, to let home owners cut down trees that have huge limbs right over the home with the risk of damage, injury or death clearly explained. Stonnington Council wrote that the worst that would happen is that a few roof tiles would be cracked. What a load of rubbish! I have seen hundreds of homes and other buildings being seriously damaged by trees coming down in storms with associated injury to residents.

The Micawber Tavern, also located in the Dandenongs suffered extensive damage only last year from another large tree falling on it. Luckily this happened after closing hours and no one was injured or worse.

To me this is the same issue as the clearing of trees around residential properties to reduce the risk of bush fire. While I have the ones that I have been working on well and truly documented to show the foreseeability of the tree falling, and I recommend you do the same with any of your clients, it is little comfort to the home owner who live under the tree. The safe removal of large gum trees is something that ought to be granted to protect the life and safety of those that live in their communities. To do otherwise is in my view a serious breach of the council’s duty of care to their ratepayers.

I cannot comment as to whether the council had been approached in this latest incident but LMI have been asked to provide advice to the family and the position will become known.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *