What are Local Laws?

    Every Council in Victoria has a set of local laws, which regulate issues within their municipality. Local Laws are made under the Local Government Act 1989 .  

     


    Why is Council proposing this?

    Council's Council and Community Plan 2017-2012 committed to consulting the community on the idea of a Classified Tree Register. In two rounds of community consultation in 2017 and 2018, the community indicated support for the adoption of a new local law which would protect the most valuable and important trees in Glen Eira. 

    Why is this Local Law required?

    Council has developed several measures, including our Street Tree Strategy and planning controls, that are designed to promote and protect vegetation, preserve existing trees, and protect locations of special significance. Despite the measures, there are still gaps that have the potential to allow the removal of the most important and valuable trees on private land without adequate assessment. The proposed Local Law aims to protect those trees by regulating indiscriminate removal and damage and is one of the ways we seek to maintain the leafy character of Glen Eira and to protect our environment. 

    What do other councils do?

    The majority of the adjoining councils already have a Local Law requiring permits to remove certain trees on private land. 

    What are the benefits of protecting our trees?

    • Changing Climate
      • Trees improve the local climatic conditions by providing shade and relief from the urban heat island effect. Trees remove pollutants from the air, store carbon dioxide in their wood and leaves, and release oxygen into the air. 
    • Environmental Benefits
      • Trees help control flooding during storms, act as a windbreak, and in some locations, our trees also contribute to native fauna habitat and local biodiversity. 
    • Community Benefits 
      • Glen Eira's trees make an important contribution to our local amenity, neighbourhood character, landscape values and cultural heritage. Trees also help to provide privacy and reduce noise pollution. 
    • Energy Conservation 
      • Trees act as a natural air conditioner, so they can help with residential heating costs and help block UV rays.
    • Increased Economic Benefits 
      • Trees improve the property value of homes and provide greater economic stability for commercial areas.  

Classified Tree Register

    Will the proposed Local Law apply to all trees?

    No. It only applies to trees on the Classified Tree Register


    What is a Classified Tree?

    Classified Trees may be growing on both Council land or private land. Only trees which are assessed by Council officers as meeting strict criteria are included in the Classified Tree Register. 

    The criteria used for assessment is based on the National Trust criteria for the classification of trees. Some examples of the criteria include trees with horticultural, environmental and aesthetic value, as well as trees that have links to historical significance and Aboriginal culture.


    Who can nominate a tree for the Register?

    Anyone can nominate a tree for inclusion on the Classified Tree Register – but only those trees which have been assessed by Council officers as eligible and are endorsed by Council will be included for protection.

    Who assesses the nominations?

    Assessments of nominations will be undertaken by suitably qualified arborists employed by Council. If the assessing officer decides that the nomination is potentially eligible for inclusion in the Classified Tree Register, then a notice will be provided to relevant landholders.

    Council makes the final decision at a meeting which is open to the public. 

    What if I am not happy with the nomination of my tree?

    If you are unhappy with the nomination of your tree for inclusion in the Classified Tree Register, you can apply for internal review. The review is undertaken by a more senior Council officer. You also have the option of a further review to Council’s Manager Parks and Environment who will engage an independent arborist to provide a report before deciding on whether the tree is eligible for inclusion in the Classified Tree Register.  

    Can a Classified Tree be removed?

    Whilst Classified Trees will be protected, it is recognised that sometimes a tree may need to be removed. This could be due to: the poor health of the tree; a tree that has been irreparably damaged because of a storm; a tree that had died of natural causes; a tree that poses an unacceptable safety risk to surrounding residents; or there is an impact on development potential because of its location within a block. Council’s arborist will be responsible for reviewing these applications and will make a report to Council if the tree is no longer eligible for protection.

    The proposed Local Law aims to provide a balanced approach between the protection of healthy trees and providing flexibility to residents who need to remove a tree on their property.

    How often will Council check the condition of Classified Trees?

    Audits will be conducted every two years by Council. If the audit indicates that a tree no longer meets the criteria for inclusion in the Classified Tree Register, Council’s arborists will notify the relevant landholders and prepare a recommendation for the tree to be delisted from the Classified Tree Register.  

    How will I know if a tree is on the Register?

    Council will write to landholders regarding any valid nominations received regarding a tree on their property. 

    Members of the public can view a copy of the Classified Tree Register on Council’s website. 

    A prospective purchaser of a property can access Council’s Property Information Certificate, which is usually contained in a section 32 Vendor Statement, containing details of any Classified Trees located on the sale property.  

Permits

    Does Council charge a fee for a Permit?

    No. Council does not charge for permits under the proposed Local Law. 

    When do I need a permit?

    Permits are required to carry out certain works on or around a Classified Tree. Except in specified circumstances, such as minor pruning for maintenance which does not harm the tree, a permit is required to prune a Classified Tree. A Council arborist will be available to provide advice on the required standard for pruning. 


    What is Council doing to let residents know about this proposal?

    Articles regarding the proposed Local Law appeared in the June and July 2020 editions of Glen Eira News

    Council is delivering prepaid submission forms to more than 56,000 households in Glen Eira.

    Council has placed advertisements in Council’s libraries,  the Town Hall and The Age newspaper. 

    Information regarding the proposed Local Law is on Council’s website. 

    Council has notified the participants in the previous two rounds of community consultations in 2017 and 2018 of the opportunity to make a submission. 

    Council has notified Friends of Caulfield Park, Glen Eira Environment Group and the National Trust of the proposed Local Law. 

     

    How can I make a submission about the proposed Local Law?


    Written submissions must be received by Council by Wednesday 29 July 2020. 

    In addition to making a submission on this HaveYourSay website, you can make a written submission by:

    • sending it in the mail, addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Glen Eira City Council, PO Box 42 Caulfield South 3162
    • sending your submission by e-mail to treelocallaw@gleneira.vic.gov.au





    What if I want to speak to someone about this?

    It is important that Council hears what the municipal community thinks about the proposed Local Law. 

    We are conducting drop-in information sessions where community members can come along, ask questions and find out more about the proposed Local Law and what it means. Further details of the date, time and location of these drop-in information sessions are on Council's website at https://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/get-involved/active-engagements/proposed-classified-tree-local-law.

     

    How is my personal information managed?


    Glen Eira City Council (Council) is committed to protecting the personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) (PDP Act).

    Personal information is collected by Council only for the purpose of Council’s functions set out in the Local Government Act  2020. Specifically, personal information is collected for the intended purpose only and for remaining in contact with you. In certain circumstances, we may disclose information about you where permitted or authorised under the PDP Act or other applicable law.

    Your contact details are not made public as part of the submission process. You may make your submission anonymously. Your submission will still be reviewed by Council. However, Council will be unable to contact you if it needs to verify details in your submission or confirm the day, time and place of the relevant Council meeting for submissions to be heard.

    Submitters should note that all submissions received (including any personal information contained therein) may be made public unless you request that it is not be made public or Council considers it should not be made public. That will usually only occur for reasons associated with fairness. Submissions that are made public may include redactions made that Council considers appropriate.

    Submissions may be included within the official Council agenda and minutes which are permanent public documents which are available on Council’s website. 

    If you would like to know more about privacy at Council, including your right to seek access to your personal information, contact Council’s privacy officer on 9524 3333. Council’s Privacy Policy is available here.

    All of Council records, including submissions, are subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.



    What is the process for adopting the new Local Law?


    Council will consider any written submission relating to the proposed Classified Tree Local Law in accordance with section 223 of the Act.

    Any person who has made a written submission under section 223 of the Act to Council and had requested to be heard in support of their written submission is entitled to appear in person, or be represented by a person specified in the submission, at a Council meeting. 

    Council will consider the submissions and then decide whether or not to make or amend the proposed Local Laws at a Council meeting on 1 September 2020. 

    Once adopted Council gives notice in the Victorian Government Gazette and in local media of the new Local Law.

    Once adopted, the new Local Law will take effect. 



    Where can I get a copy of the documents?

    A copy of the proposed Local Law, its incorporated documents and the accompanying Community Impact Statement are all available for download on this website, in the 'Document Library' Section. 

    You can also view and obtain copies of these documents by appointment with the Customer Service Centre at Town Hall. If you would like a hard copy of the documents sent to you by post just call our Customer Service Centre on 9524 3333.  

    I have strong views about the proposed Local Law and I want to make my view known at a Council meeting.

    Any person who has made a submission and has requested to be heard in support of their submission is entitled to be heard, or to be represented by a proxy, at the Council meeting on 11 August 2020 at 7:30pm. This could be via Zoom or in person depending on social distancing requirements in place at the time. 

    What's next?

    Council officers will prepare a report for the Council meeting on 11 August 2020 containing all of the submissions received. If you indicate in your submission that you would like to speak to your submission at this meeting, you will be contacted by our staff with further details of the meeting arrangements. Depending on social distancing requirements in place at the time, attendance could be via Zoom or in person. A further report will then be prepared and submitted to a future Council meeting to advise whether changes to the proposed Local Law are warranted. 

    Further assistance

    If you are unable to communicate via email please phone Council on 9524 3333 to make alternative arrangements. An interpreter service is available.

    If you have concerns that information that you are considering providing to Council may be defamatory, you should consider seeking independent legal advice.