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Mayor calls on councils to put human lives before trees

A Sydney mayor is calling on other councils to follow their initiative and put human lives before trees.

The Hills Shire Council’s policy allows residents to cut down any tree within five metres of their homes without council approval.

If the tree is further than five metres away, but more than 15 metres tall, residents can apply to the council to cut it down on the grounds of concerns to safety.

A woman in Melbourne was the latest victim to a falling tree after she was killed when a large elm tree fell on her while she was jogging.

Back in Sydney Willoughby Council has constantly rejected a man’s pleas to remove a tree he fears could fall and kill his children.

Hills Shire Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne tells Ben Fordham it was necessary to introduce the policy.

“Of course it’s upset the greenies…. but for our residents, they’re cheering.

“The last thing we want is residents lying awake worrying about a tree falling on their house and hurting one of their kids, so we wanted to make it easier for residents who do have serious concerns about trees in their backyard to be able to remove these trees.

“The minute a tree becomes more important than human life or property there’s a real problem.”

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