Kalamunda Tree Retention Policy – Special request to Councillors

By Steve Gates

Dear NRPG members and interested,

You will recall that our Council voted to revoke the Kalamunda Tree Retention Policy LPP33 at the February Council meeting. (The Councillors who voted against revoking the policy were Councillors Ritchie, O’Donnell and Cooper).

We understand there will a meeting between Kalamunda Council and City Staff on 30 Apr at which policies and procedures will be discussed.

Please contact any or all Councillors before 30 April, to express your concern about the loss of the Tree Retention Policy and express your support for a comprehensive replacement urgently, with a full public consultation.

The newsletter from Replenish in Kalamunda (who have supported the NRPG Forest Festival and other community and environmental activities) has useful information to assist you.

Kind regards,
Steve Gates

President, NRPG Bushcarers

From: Replenish Kalamunda <[email protected]

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 ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌  Special newsletter …Hello.
We are writing to you today on this appropriately named Earth Day to let you know about a few disturbing local developments over the last few months that need our community’s attention. In February, our Kalamunda City Councillors voted to revoke the recently introduced Tree Retention Policy. This policy took three years of planning and community consultation to bring to fruition. Many local groups of citizens provided countless hours of voluntary consultation support the formulation of this policy. The policy had not even been in place for a full 12 months when, with five days’ notice and against due process, our elected members revoked the policy instead of the more logical option of asking for a review period. Clearly the Tree Retention Policy in its original format had unintended consequences and needed to be reviewed and refined. However, this was not considered an option by the six Councillors that voted to revoke the policy. As it now stands there is no policy or protection for trees in our Council area. While this may make it easier for some local individual residents there is now no barrier to widespread tree removal by property developers. On the 30th of April, Councillors will be attending a special meeting to discuss a model tree retention policy developed by the WA Local Government Association (WALGA). They will be discussing whether it should be adopted, changed, or discarded. Some Councillors, due to minimal feedback in support of tree preservation, believe that the general population of the City do not want a tree retention policy.This is where we need our community to step up. The Councillors need to hear from concerned residents that they do support protection of a forest canopy. Emailing them, asking what the council is planning to do, is a great way to show that you care about what happens to the trees in our City. It helps Councillors see that there are residents who value the environment and would like them to vote for policies that protect it. If you would like to email your councillors, it is really important to be polite. They are more likely to listen to your views if they don’t feel backed into a corner. Below are four sample emails, followed by a list of City of Kalamunda Councillors and their email addresses. Feel free to copy and send one of the sample emails or write your own. If you email asking for information, they will have to reply to you. It would be terrific if you could do this before the 30th of April!
Sample Emails or send your own1. Dear Councillor (name),It has been some weeks since the tree retention policy was rescinded by the council. As a City of Kalamunda resident, I am concerned about the lack of protection for trees. Can you please let me know what the council is doing to protect the forest canopy in line with the 2023 Urban Forest strategy?Yours sincerely,(your name and suburb)2. Dear Councillor (name),I understand that the Council currently has no policy for the retention of trees on private land. I believe that it is important for the City to protect the forest canopy and needs to work toward better protection of trees. This has an impact on the environment and the lifestyle offered in the hills. Can you please advise how the Council is planning to protect the urban forest in our city?Yours sincerely,(your name and suburb)3. Dear Councillor (name),I am concerned that the City currently has no tree retention policy in place. Recently in the news, we have been hearing about large scale “forest collapse” as a result of the extremely dry weather in the last 6 months. I believe it is important for the City council to act to protect the forests that we have. Can you please let me know what action the council is planning?Yours sincerely,(your name and suburb)4. Dear Councillor (name),I am concerned about the lack of protection of trees in our City. The council overturned its tree retention policy in February. WALGA issued a draft tree retention policy in March, and I understand the City of Kalamunda is planning to review this document. Can you please let me know where this process is currently at?Yours sincerely,(your name and suburb)Your Councillors Email AddressesMayor Margaret Thomas JPEmail: [email protected]North Ward (Suburbs included: Kalamunda, Gooseberry Hill, Maida Vale)Kathy RitchieEmail: [email protected]David ModoloEmail: [email protected]North West Ward (Suburbs included: High Wycombe, Maida Vale, Forrestfield)Dylan O’Connor – Deputy MayorEmail: [email protected]Lisa CooperEmail: [email protected]South East Ward (Suburbs included: Walliston, Bickley, Carmel, Kalamunda, Lesmurdie, Pickering Brook, Piesse Brook, Hacketts Gully, Paulls Valley, Canning Mills)Geoff StallardEmail: [email protected]John GiardinaEmail: [email protected]South West Ward (Suburbs included: Forrestfield, Wattle Grove)Brooke O’DonnellEmail: [email protected]Mary CannonEmail: [email protected]
Finally …Thank you for taking an interest in our natural environment. I hope that you will take the time to contact your local councillors and let them know that you support tree retention in our beautiful city.We would also like to thank our wonderful customer Heidi for taking the time to compile this information and allowing us to share it with our customer base. There are hard copies available at the shop and please feel free to share with your own contacts. We really need to leave no doubt that the residents do indeed expect protection for our trees.
With Gratitude Rachel and Simon    facebookinstagramReplenish
Shop 12 / 12 Barber Street
Kalamunda, WA
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