PRIVATE property owners will be able to nominate a beloved tree on their land on the City of Bayswater’s Significant Tree Register.
Bayswater Council voted 8-3 at its April 30 meeting for Deputy Mayor Chris Cornish’s motion to allow residents to voluntarily nominate trees to be included in the register.
The council will amend Town Planning Scheme 24 to include a clause for people to obtain development approval or written consent for the removal or harm of trees listed in the register.
It will consider the amendment at a later date, with the final determination set to be made by the WA Planning Commission and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.
Councillors Catherine Ehrhardt, Filomena Piffaretti and Michelle Sutherland voted against the motion.
The register aims to help the retention of significant trees and ensure they are managed appropriately.
Works and infrastructure director Doug Pearson said officers would consider the trees’ social, ecological and cultural significance while assessing whether a tree would be included or not.
Cr Cornish said the register was the only way significant trees could be protected on private properties.
“There are many reasons why someone may want to do nominate a tree as significant; perhaps their grandfather planted it, or their child’s ashes are scattered there or it is just a magnificent tree,” he said.
“In the future, the council could consider offering some incentives for people who add a tree to the register.”
Cr Piffaretti said she disagreed with having controls over people’s homes, which was their “biggest asset”.
“I do not want to be part of a council where somebody buys a house in the City of Bayswater has no idea that the tree or trees is on the Significant Tree Register and they can’t do anything about that tree,” she said.
However, Mayor Dan Bull said while there was no clause for real estate agents to notify home buyers of a tree that was on the register, home buyers would usually research every aspect of the property before purchasing.