Claremont council to keep 22m sugar gum tree despite concerns from truck drivers

Truckie Peter Plaisted is still unhappy the leaning tree of Riley Road has been kept.  Picture: Jon Bassett
Truckie Peter Plaisted is still unhappy the leaning tree of Riley Road has been kept. Picture: Jon Bassett

CLAREMONT council will keep a 22m sugar gum tree that leans almost 2m into the path of high vehicles that may be a danger to unaware truck drivers.

Nedlands truck driver Peter Plaisted said the tree was dangerous and, in his view, illegal.

“My position is it’s illegal (and) below the minimum height required by Main Roads,” he said.

“What truck driver would know (the tree was there) if they were not familiar with this area? Say those delivering a container for someone moving, as they often do around here?”

At Tuesday’s council meeting, a staff report said the tree’s lean across Riley Road meant its trunk was about 3.55m above the kerb.

Main Roads WA guidelines recommend at least 4.6m between the pavement and the lowest part of any tree, but preferred 5.4m.

“Marks on the tree indicate that the tree has been glanced by vehicles on a couple of occasions. It should be noted that the weekly rubbish collection service vehicle and the street sweeping truck have not has any issues with this tree at any stage,” the report said.

Among 21 residents who replied in the council’s public comment period, nine supported felling the tree, eight wanted parking restrictions, while other suggestions included restricting trucks on the street.

Mr Plaisted said he would still have to use the street because he delivered “three to four” large rubbish bins in the area each week.

Councillors were divided, including Cr Peter Browne who said the council could get into “deep trouble” if the tree was not removed and there was an accident, while Cr Bruce Haynes wanted the tree retained.

A compromise bid by Cr Paul Kelly failed to have a replacement tree planted and for the staff to deal with the leaning gum at a later stage.

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