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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 239 asked in the Legislative Council on 10 April 2018 by Hon Tim Clifford

Minister responding: Hon P.C. Tinley
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 10 April 2018

PUBLIC HOUSING — 136 BISHOPSGATE STREET, CARLISLE

239. Hon TIM CLIFFORD to the minister representing the Minister for Housing:

I refer to the Housing Authority's decision to remove a large gum tree that is home to a variety of birdlife from a property at 136 Bishopsgate Street, Carlisle. I understand that the decision was made because the tree's roots are interfering with pipes and fencing.

(1) What alternative options were considered prior to making the decision to remove the tree and was an environmental consultant engaged to advise on the environmental significance of the tree?

(2) Were neighbours given prior notice before work commenced and was a risk assessment undertaken to assess potential risks to people and property?

(3) How much was the work estimated to cost and how much has the removal process cost so far, including the costs of repairing damage done to neighbouring properties?

(4) Can the minister confirm whether the contractors had permission to forcibly remove a padlock to obtain access to the property?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following information has been provided by the Minister for Housing.

(1) The Department of Communities will complete tree lopping and pruning works where trees are causing property damage or are close to powerlines. In this instance, the options considered included leaving the tree in situ, pruning the tree back or complete removal. Complete removal was the chosen option due to the effect of the invasive root system of the tree on the sewerage, drainage and fencing systems at the complex. It is a very large tree in close proximity to residences and as such there are also considerable concerns that the tree may cause injury to people or damage homes by dropping limbs. No environmental consultant was engaged.

(2) Public housing tenants were notified. A risk assessment was undertaken.

(3) The works have been included as part of a bulk quote for removal of multiple trees. The cost of removing this individual tree has not been assessed.

(4) Yes.