The City of Melville has had an important win in its efforts to protect its urban forest with a successful prosecution for the illegal removal of one of its street trees.
The large and mature aged remnant Jarrah verge tree was removed without approval from a property on Marcus Avenue in Booragoon in December 2021 and following legal advice the City initiated prosecution procedures against the owner.
After the landowner pleaded guilty, the Fremantle Magistrates Court imposed a fine of $1,200 and ordered the accused to pay the City’s costs to the amount of $1,417.
While no amount of money can replace the environmental and aesthetic value of the iconic tree, which was 12 metres in height according to the City’s last street tree audit, the prosecution recognises the important role of the local urban forest as trees provide many benefits to the community, most significantly the reduction of local urban heating and helping to build climate change resilience.
The City has completed a variety of workshops, school holiday activities, art installations, trails, talks, free trees and wellness activities as part of the inaugural WA Tree Festival from Saturday, 9 April to Monday, 9 May 2022.
For more information about the City’s work to protect the local urban forest, visit www.melvillecity.com.au/trees Comments attributed to City of Melville Mayor the Hon. George Gear JP:
“Although arising from an unfortunate event, result of this Court action shows that we value trees and we will take action where unauthorised removal has occurred,” said Mayor Gear.
“We recognise the importance of our local urban forests in providing habitat for wildlife and the often invisible benefits that trees provide, including providing cooling benefits through shade, which can help reduce our energy demands while tree-lined streets improve the liveability of neighbourhoods.
“We all have a responsibility to build climate change resilience in our community and to protect our green spaces.
“The City of Melville was proud to be a partner of the inaugural WA Tree Festival, which proved to be a wonderful celebration of the important role trees play in our community.”