Looking for a ‘sensible balance’ to tree clearing

Pearl Beach

Forum –

In PP032 (Oct 21), the Pearl Beach Environment Group [PBEG] has raised concerns with the CCC over the loss of bushland in Pearl Beach and its impact on the environment due to “inappropriate development”.

They are seeking a meeting with the Central Coast Council Administrator over their concerns.

Hopefully he will be aware of the history of Pearl Beach and the several volunteer organisations within the village, focused on looking after the natural and native attributes of the village – Arboretum team –Bush Care – Dune Care – Progress Association, which with the aid of the Council have achieved great results and a beautiful environment.

As a resident for some 35 years and a bush lover I and many others within the village have concerns about the balance of village bush and risk management.

When one looks back on aerial photographs taken over the past 30 t 40 years the increased tree canopy enveloping the village is clear to see, in fact if Ausgrid didn’t trim trees on the roadside to protect power cables – today the roads would not be visible from the air – like many of the homes.

Now the National Park and Council bush land basically runs right around the village and out to Patonga and Kariong so risk management is a very important factor given the location of this village just look at aerial views of the village and surrounding areas of the Peninsula.

Crown fires or ground level fires present a massive challenge to the village and more with overly developed coverage then add global warming!

Trees and plants in close proximity to dwellings simply add to the risk.

The Council basically requires you to obtain a permit to remove a tree on your own property, but you can plant trees without one! How sensible is that, in terms of safety zones and future risk factors?

Trees are regularly planted on streetscapes by locals, on the edge of intersections/tight corners [impairing driver visibility] directly in the path of pedestrians –pushing them onto the road way- planted under power lines and over underground service connections.

The village originally was home to a lot of little beach cottages and fibro shacks overtime these have naturally been upgraded to more suitable modern homes, which naturally cover a larger area of the original site – but not excessively – so some trees have to be removed.

The houses both original and today’s are sited close together a feature of the original development, but also extra challenging for neighbours, if a property catches fire.

Come on tree lovers, planners and residents, let’s stay within sensibility, safety and balance and focus more on the issues of village safety and preparedness for climatic challenges.

Hopefully Mr Hart and his team will consult with the Council and RFS Fire Committee and also take a drive around the village prior to meeting with this PBEG for the writer and a lot of residents the village requires a sensible balance of natural bush and nature with a strong reality of risk management and accompanying limits.

Email, Oct 25
Vic Brown, Pearl Beach