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Council Issues Warning to Beware of Suspect Tree Operators

Source: Northern Beaches Council
Posted: 13 Jan 2019
Northern Beaches Council is warning the community to be wary of unscrupulous tree lopping operators who flout the law, making residents liable for thousands of dollars of fines for their illegal works.

CEO Ray Brownlee said Council is aware of rogue tree tradesman currently door knocking in Avalon and offering to cheaply remove or trim large trees without Council permission. This follows a spate of similar incidents at around the same time last year.   

“Our community is passionate about trees and at Council we are committed to protecting as much of our tree canopy as possible,” Mr Brownlee said.

“Most trees over 5m high are protected and residents need Council approval to prune more than ten percent of the tree or remove it. This ensures we maintain the green environment that is so valued by our community. 

“Without consent to prune or remove the trees, residents can attract thousands of dollars in fines. 

“If in doubt, residents should contact Council to ensure they, or those they contract, are working within the law.”

Mr Brownlee said that a good tree operator will be knowledgeable about what is permitted, be appropriately insured and qualified to undertake the work.

“If an operator can’t demonstrate they meet these requirements, residents should think twice about employing them to do the job in case they end up being liable for their illegal activities.

“If the work is illegal, then that leaves the property owner at risk of being fined because the contractors have usually left with no traceable contact information,” Mr Brownlee said. 

Property owners who are approached by contractors should contact Council first, to check that the work complies with Council’s tree controls or visit Council's website. Residents can also contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

 
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