City of Cockburn adds 42 trees to significant tree register


Deputy Mayor Carol Reeve-Fowkes, Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett and Councillor Phil Eva.
Deputy Mayor Carol Reeve-Fowkes, Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett and Councillor Phil Eva.

FORTY-two trees have been added to the City of Cockburn’s Significant Tree Register, but it will not include those removed from under the nose of the local council last month.

An inspection of trees across Cockburn’s administration site, seniors centre and the local bowling club identified 45 trees for inclusion in the City’s tree register.

But a trio of sugar gums – numbered one, two and three in a report sent out for public consultation – were mysteriously cut down on September 10, shocking council staff.

It is still unclear who authorised the cull.

At the City’s monthly council meeting on October 13, councillors agreed to back an officer’s recommendation to include the 42 remaining trees in the register.

“However, should replacement trees be planted, it is recommended that these be considered for inclusion on the ‘Significant Tree’ list at that time,” the report read.

The report also suggested Council produce a report on options available to the City to address planning compliance issues and breach of covenant issues associated with the trees being cut down.

The trees were on land sold off to the Department of Health in 2004 but “critically, a restrictive covenant was imposed that prohibits the removal of vegetation”.

The City says it has been informed an investigation by the Department of Health is “still pending”.

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett described the cull as a “great shame”.

“It has had a significant impact on the picturesque view along the historic land the Council’s administration building sits on,” he said.