Ku-ring-gai Council has issued $4500 worth of fines for the illegal removal of a critically endangered Sydney Blue Gum tree.
A Warrawee homeowner and an arborist have been fined a total of $4500 for the poisoning and subsequent removal of the tree, which took place earlier this year.
The tree was 35 metres in height with a trunk diameter of 1000 millimetres and according to Council staff, was a significant example of the endangered vegetation community Sydney Blue Gum High Forest. More information about Sydney Blue Gum High Forest can be found here.
Tests conducted on the tree by a laboratory showed that it had been injected with herbicide by the homeowner. The tree was unlawfully removed by the arborist while it was still alive.
Sydney Blue Gum High Forest is classed as ‘critically endangered’ under federal and state legislation and Ku-ring-gai is the only place in Sydney and one of the few places in NSW where the tree still flourishes.
Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the prosecution underlined the need for an urgent review of the new 10/50 rules brought in by the state government.
“We are really concerned that property-owners will remove trees without checking whether they are endangered or not.”
“Please talk to us first if you are unsure about the status of trees at your property because you risk being fined.”
Mayor Anderson said the critically endangered Sydney Blue Gum High Forest was found throughout the Ku-ring-gai area.