Environment Minister Refuses To Help Wyong Residents #SaveWyongTrees #Wyong #CentralCoast

MEDIA RELEASE

3rd SEPTEMBER 2015

 

Save Our Trees – Save our Wildlife

Environment Minister Refuses To Help Wyong Residents

The Save Wyong Trees campaign has accused the Minister for the Environment of refusing to help the residents of Wyong.

‘We wrote to the Minister seeking assistance from his department following the disastrous tree policy adopted by Wyong Shire Council.’ said spokesperson Greg Simmonds. ‘The Wyong Tree policy allows all trees to be cleared on all residential land of 1500m² or less.’

‘Wyong Council is now taking the position that it does not provide advice for landholders’

‘We asked the Minister to station staff in Wyong who could advise residents on what was an endangered tree or ecological community and which therefore could make them liable to a criminal offence if it was cleared.’

‘Instead the Minister referred us back to the Council who, predictably, refused to provide advice.’

‘The Minister also advised us to call the Environment Line if we thought unlawful activity was occurring. Unfortunately the Minister completely missed the point that residents don’t know if an unlawful activity is taking place if there is no-one to provide advice on which trees are threatened or endangered and which trees aren’t.’

‘The Minister has no clue about the environmental damage which is occurring in Wyong right now’ said Mr Simmonds.

Save Wyong Trees is calling on the Minister for the Environment to:
  • Stop misleading the people by suggesting that Wyong Council will assist them.
  • Visit Wyong to see the destruction for himself.
  • Dedicate two OEH staff in Wyong to save our threatened species from being cleared.

SWT members letter to Minister tree dump site R Herman v2 (2)

Members of SWT checking correspondence with Minister’s office, at one of the illegal tree debris dumping sites in Wyong Shire (photo: R. Herman)

Save Wyong Trees has confirmed that if a resident rings Wyong Council for information about how to identify an endangered or threatened tree species, the council officers simply refer the caller to the revised Chapter 3.6 of the Wyong Development Control Plan (WDCP) on the Council website.

No assistance is provided to access the five Commonwealth and state Government departments or to comply with the nine legislative acts and four state environmental planning policies, meaning residents face a real risk of substantial fines.

Save Wyong Trees has written again to the Minister, hoping for genuine assistance for the residents of Wyong Shire.

Further details: savewyongtrees.org.au

— ENDS —