Town of Bassendean to investigate a potential tree audit and tree retention incentives

Published on Wednesday, 18 October 2023 at 10:52:02 AM

At Tuesday evening’s Ordinary Council Meeting, Council resolved to seek a cost estimate to undertake an audit of trees on private property within the Bassendean Town Centre so as to identify those trees that may be worthy of formal protection. It also approved a motion to investigate potential mechanisms to incentivise property owners retaining existing trees on their property.

Protection of trees on private land is based on factors such as their historical value, aesthetic value, rarity, habitat value, and other significance such as canopy size. Such protection does not in itself prevent development, but it does require the property owner to obtain permission for any development which may impact the health of the tree, including pruning and tree maintenance. 

The motions were put forward by Deputy Mayor Renee McLennan who advised that incentivising the protection of significant trees on private property would help the Town to meet its canopy cover target of 30% by 2040, in line with the Town’s Tree Canopy Action Plan. Cr McLennan also explained that typically there are few privately-owned trees on Significant Tree Registers, and by identifying significant trees and incentivising their retention, it would result in greater retention of tree canopy without necessarily adversely affecting development.

The Town will now investigate the costs associated with conducting an audit of significant trees within the Bassendean Town Centre and will investigate tree incentive options and the associated costs, and present a report to a future Council meeting to inform the 2024/25 budget.

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