Verge trees being lopped illegally

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Capes local Lynda Mckilligin recorded three tree removals per month between January and June this year.
Camera IconCapes local Lynda Mckilligin recorded three tree removals per month between January and June this year. Credit: Catherine Massey/Pic: Catherine Massey, Catherine Massey

The usually attractive verges of Busselton and Dunsborough have started looking bare, with reports of a disappearing tree trend.

The City of Busselton has received reports in recent months of verge trees being lopped or even removed, neither of which is permitted without prior approval from the City.

City of Busselton planning and development services director Paul Needham said it could be due to an increase in new developments in the area.

“There have been five reports of potentially unlawful removal of trees on verges in the last few weeks, all of which are being investigated by the City,” he said.

“Verges are public property, managed by the City on behalf of the community as a whole.

“The verge does not form part of an adjoining private property,” he said.

Mr Needham said verge trees are significant in cooling streets, increasing property value, enhancing visual amenity and are important habitat for native fauna.

“It is very disheartening and a great shame when people remove trees without permission and unnecessarily,” he said.

Unauthorised lopping can result in penalties of up to $10,000 and the City can put up a sign outside a property stating vegetation had been unlawfully removed or damaged.

Siesta Park local Lynda Mckilligin said verge trees had been lopped three times a month in her area in the first half of 2020.

“I’ve lived in Siesta Park for 10 years and I’ve been very concerned about the removal of peppies, ironbarks, and native vegetation along Caves road, Siesta Park, the paths and the beach,” she said.

Unauthorised clearings can be reported at the City’s website.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails