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Tree & Vegetation Management - Your input is important!


The Shoalhaven City Council is changing its Tree & Vegetation Management Development Control Plan. The new plan will mean only unhealthy or dangerous trees can be removed.


It's REALLY important to have supportive submissions of the proposed changes. Send in your support now. Or perhaps you think the amendments should be stronger?

Tell Shoalhaven City Council that you support the new Tree & Vegetation Management Plan, there is a campaign by others not to make the changes!!

The review is relevant to Part 2.3 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021 (the Biodiversity and Conservation SEPP).


The proposed changes follow a range of feedback provided by the community and industry through time. The proposal includes additional criteria, including:

  • The tree must pose a demonstrable (actual) risk to the building.

  • The tree must be located on the same lot that the building is located on.

  • The tree must not include a hollow and/or nests (for example, stick bird nests), or be on an upward slope greater than 18 degrees from the building.

  • The tree must be removed by an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Level 3 arborist in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards. Tree removal is a highly specialised procedure requiring the skills and expertise of trained professionals to protect life and property.

  • The landowner is to notify all adjoining and adjacent landowners/occupants and Council of the proposed tree removal in writing, at least 5 business days before the tree removal is due to commence. The notification to Council must also be signed by the arborist removing the tree/s.


The proposed amendments do not stop anyone from removing unhealthy, dangerous trees. The 45 - degree rule is  being 'tweaked' to improve tree management on urban blocks, and if well enforced will mean healthy trees cannot be removed. 

Go to this link to support the changes

Unfortunately, tree clearing has proliferated under the guise of the 45-degree rule, one of the new amendments to the rule aims to monitor and keep a record of what is being removed and where.

Another amendment requires the contractor and their staff to obtain a minimum of TAFE Level III Arborist Certificate. Consequently, the tree contractor and their staff will be trained to improve their knowledge, ensuring better tree management practices and operator safety - important for them and their clients.

Trees are not all 'hazardous'.  The existing 45-degree Rule does not permit objective differentiation.  If a tree is healthy, a good arborist will ALWAYS suggest alternatives to the complete removal of a tree. Trees near houses can undergo canopy lifting and strategic removal of dead branches. A good arborist will understand that this is the preferred method to manage healthy trees near houses. 

The amendments to the 45-degree rule also encourage retaining hollows for wildlife. Without hollows, many bird and arboreal mammals will become extinct.

The 45-degree rule, without the proposed amendments, doesn't give trees in urban areas a chance.


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