Tree management was briefly covered during the recent community meetings, however hopefully the following information provides greater clarity for community members.
Questions or comments are welcome, however please remember that we can’t comment on work occurring on private property.
Private property tree removal
Any tree removal that is occurring on private property at this stage is being done by individual land owners. We understand some property owners have engaged Surf Coast Trees, who Grocon also have previously engaged.
Property owners are reminded that a permit is required to remove any trees on your private land unless they pose an immediate risk. To be sure, we encourage property owners to call Council before removing any trees.
Grocon has completed the state-coordinated management of trees on private properties. Grocon arborists are now just tidying up, which includes the DELWP felled trees from the back of Karingal Drive. This work is expected to be finished this week.
As we have seen during the past few months, it is impossible to predict exactly what trees will become hazardous or fall down during weather events. Grocon will be assessing trees within their retaining wall work sites as needed, and trees that become hazardous due to time or weather impacts may need to be removed.
Grocon are also supporting Colac Otway Shire to re-open Stanway Drive, removing the remaining hazardous trees (a few of them already fell over last weekend) and the trees needed to widen the road to make it safe.
Grocon is also supporting COS by cleaning up low-level fire affected shrubs in the Wye River gully and some drainage reserves, prior to summer.
Colac Otway Shire work
Colac-Otway Shire has appointed ENSPEC to conduct an assessment of the bushfire-affected trees on Council-owned land.
In appointing ENSPEC, the shire has requested they abide by the following principles in conducting their assessment.
- The assessment must ensure public safety
- The assessment should advise appropriate works to be undertaken, with tree maintenance as opposed to removal preferred where acceptable levels of public safety can be ensured.
- The assessment is to be undertaken by an arborist independent of companies that have undertaken work in Wye River and Separation Creek in response to the bushfire.
The Council has asked ENSPEC to assess the trees in Harrington Park first to ensure this important public space is safe for visitors and locals.
We expect that assessment back in the next week or so and, as we have said, we will make that assessment public before work is undertaken.
The aborists will then conduct an assessment on the remainder of the Council-owned land.
A separate contractor will be engaged to undertake any work identified in the assessments.