Naracoorte Lucindale Council elects new tree group

Three members of the community have joined the Naracoorte Lucindale Council’s newly established botanical working group.

Venita Bator, Andrew Hutchison and Graeme McPhee will sit on the group, which was created in part because of a public backlash against multiple removals of trees around Naracoorte’s town centre by the council in recent years.

The community members will be joined on the group by two councillors – Cr Toby Robinson, a farmer, and Cr Craig McGuire, who operates a gardening business.

The group was created by approval of a motion at the council’s October 2017 meeting: “That a working group with up to five members is established to investigate tree replacement that includes members of the community with professional knowledge and skills in tree management, councillors and a maximum of one council officer.”

The working group’s purpose is to provide reports to the strategic asset management committee on:

  • Existing streetscapes in all townships with respect to the species, condition and acceptability as council trees.
  • Principles and guidelines in relation to council trees.
  • Matters relating to vegetation management on council land, including parks and reserves.
  • Recommendations on matters relating to trees and council streetscapes.

In a report to the meeting, director of operations Steve Bourne said: “All three nominees have extensive experience and knowledge in horticulture and will provide valuable input for council in accordance to the terms of reference for the working group”.

Cr McGuire added that he was pleased to be able to work with three well qualified community members on the group.

“It’s great for the community to see that when we’re making decisions (on trees and related issues) that community members are involved, and they know what they’re talking about.”

Mayor Erika Vickery agreed, saying: “I think it will be a very useful reference group.”