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AS A MUNICIPALITY
22 FEBRUARY 1859
A CITY JULY 1990
28th November, 2006
Committee Members: The Mayor, Cr P. Tracey, Crs Andrews, Belleli (Chairperson), Hughes (Deputy Chairperson), Matson, Notley-Smith, Seng & White.
Quorum: Five (5) members.
NOTE: AT THE EXTRAORDINARY MEETING HELD ON 28TH SEPTEMBER, 2004, THE COUNCIL RESOLVED THAT THE WORKS COMMITTEE BE CONSTITUTED AS A COMMITTEE WITH FULL DELEGATION TO DETERMINE MATTERS ON THE AGENDA.
2 Confirmation of the Minutes
CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE WORKS COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 21ST NOVEMBER, 2006.
3 Declaration of Pecuniary & Non-Pecuniary Interests
4 Addressing to Committee by Members of the Public
5 Urgent Business
7 Confidential Items (Closed Session)
8 Notices of Rescission Motions
24 November, 2006
REPORT BY: DIRECTOR, CITY SERVICES
Randwick City Council, at its Ordinary Council Meeting held on Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, resolved to adopt a Significant Tree Register, and quotation requests were called from suitably experienced consultants for the drafting of this document.
Three companies were invited to lodge quotation requests with Council and the Tender was subsequently awarded to LandArc Pty Ltd – a company which is a recognised authority in the preparation of this type of document.
The purpose of the Significant Tree Register is to identify and recognise the importance of significant trees in the landscape, to guide their management and to ensure their protection for future generations.
It is envisaged that the Register will form part of a suite of strategic planning and management documents under Randwick City Council’s Tree Management policies. These documents will provide the tools for improved tree management and planning in the Randwick Local Government Area (LGA), and will principally include the following:-
· Street Tree Masterplan;
· Tree Preservation Order;
· Significant Tree Register;
· Tree Technical Manual.
The assessment methodology for determining significant trees is based on the criteria developed for the Register of the National Estate, in accordance with the Burra Charter. This is a nationally consistent approach to heritage identification and assessment and can be applied to all types of heritage places and items.
A thorough physical examination of trees in relation to their natural occurrence or cultural history has been conducted and supported through extensive field work and examination of reports, photographs, archival material and oral evidence. The collected data has been evaluated on the basis of each tree’s (or group of trees) contextual relationship to other similar trees (or groups) and relative importance in terms of the following criteria:
· historic and/or natural value (ie. indigenous/cultivated origin)
· botanic/scientific value
· social, cultural and commemorative value
· visual and aesthetic value.
The heritage values for each listed tree or group of trees has been encapsulated in a Statement of Significance which involves interpretation and analysis of comparative points of importance (eg. values including rarity, biodiversity, individual and/or group, landmark, representative and integrity, research and social, cultural and spiritual associations).
The criteria relate to both cultural and natural significance of an item and place. The heritage values of a significant tree or group of trees are almost always multi-layered. It is important to recognise that the process for determining significance must consider the full range of criteria.
Furthermore, it is possible that some significant trees may be remarkably diminutive but they may possess extraordinary botanic or scientific significance in terms of rarity or representative values (eg. the local native Woody Pear). This example highlights the need for a systematic approach to assessment including detailed investigation and identification, comparative analysis, review of local contextual relationships and determination of relative importance of all potential listings.
Therefore, it needs to be understood that only trees or groups of trees that satisfy the range of established assessment criteria utilised, as well as being exemplary examples of the species themselves, have been considered for listing in the Register.
In assessing significant trees, a balance is established between items which have the qualities of significance and those items possessing fewer attributes according to the criteria. It is important that listed items should not in any way reduce the value or deem expendable those trees which are not scheduled on the Register.
For example, immature trees of little historic, cultural, social, aesthetic and visual significance today may in time achieve great significance and value to future generations.
Trees are living, growing organisms which are affected by the environment around them and conversely, trees will make their own impact felt over time. These dynamics are not contained within a static document and this point emphasises the need to monitor, upgrade and modify the Register over a period of time.
During March-April, 2006, public nominations for significant trees were invited by Council through an advertising campaign in the local press, Council’s Customer Service Centre, libraries and on Council’s web-site. The original four-week period was subsequently extended to receive nominations up to 1 May, 2006.
A total of 32 people, including members of local groups, provided nominations for individual trees and groups of trees within the Randwick LGA. All of these nominations have been investigated and assessed and a Summary Report is tabled in the Appendices of the Register.
The scope of the study, as established in the Brief, specifically excluded the following areas, which contain significant collections of natural, Aboriginal and cultural heritage but are under the control and management of other government departments and Trustees:-
· Centennial Parklands (Centennial Park & Moore Park Trust);
· Bundock Street Defence Force facility (Department of Defence);
· Anzac Rifle Range, Malabar Headland (Department of Defence);
· Botany Bay National Park (NSW Department of Environment & Conservation).
Notably, many other government-owned lands are included in the Register (refer to Volume 3 of the Register).
The Draft Significant Tree Register has listed a total of 898 significant trees in the Randwick LGA (excluding the above areas) and, for ease of reference, has been divided into four (4) volumes as follows:
· Volume 4:
Significant Trees under Private Ownership
Each of these volumes has been further divided into precincts according to the Precinct Plans established under the Randwick City Council Precincts Committee. Listings have been arranged in alphabetical order.
RELATIONSHIP TO CITY PLAN:
The relationship to the City Plan is as follows:
Outcome 1: Leadership in Sustainability
This Register will complement the range of documents currently being drafted or reviewed by Council’s Tree Management Officer to ensure greatly improved tree management and planning within the Randwick Local Government Area (LGA).
Outcome 7: Heritage that is protected and celebrated
Direction 7a: Our heritage is recognised, protected and celebrated.
Outcome 10: A healthy environment
Direction 10a: Council is a leader in fostering environmentally sustainable practices;
Direction 10b: Environmental risks and impacts are strategically managed;
Direction 10c: Land use planning and management enhances and protects biodiversity and natural heritage.
Outcome 12: Excellence in information and knowledge management
Direction 12b: Systematic processes in place for capturing and analysing data to enable informed decision making.
FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT:
The adoption of the Register and the implementation of appropriately stringent tree management strategies may have an impact on Council’s tree management budget. There may also be a cost involved in managing significant trees on private property and within properties owned or controlled by other government authorities, institutional, religious and non-government organisations.
All Council-owned trees listed on the Register would require a more thorough inspection and maintenance regime than currently exists and all such works would need to comply with the most comprehensive and up-to-date arboricultural practices.
Randwick City Council currently facilitates the protection of most public and private trees through the Tree Preservation Order (TPO) 2005. A Schedule of Exempt Species identifies undesirable and nuisance species which are not included under Council’s Tree Preservation Order.
Furthermore, trees declared as noxious species under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 are also excluded from the TPO. The question, however, is whether the TPO provides adequate protection for significant trees.
Scheduling of significant trees under the provisions of Council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) would establish clear recognition of heritage values and improved protection, particularly with respect to development. It is recommended that all scheduled trees in the Register of Significant Trees should be considered for listing in any new Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
Further review of the trees included in the Register would be required to determine how many of the trees will eventually be included as Landscape Items in a new LEP. This may be established in accordance with the level of significance shown for each individual or group of trees. It is also important to recognise that the Register of Significant Trees is not a static document and will be subject to ongoing review.
The enhanced status of significant trees should be used to promote broader community awareness and to highlight Council’s commitment to the protection of these trees and their contextual landscapes. Any such public education strategy would need to emphasise to the community the significance of “place” – not simply recognition of the listed item(s) but an understanding of the value of these trees within the landscape.
It is recommended that these initiatives be promoted by Council as part of an ongoing community-based exercise ensuring broad media coverage, web-site information, community involvement, opportunities for further nominations and review, and education in appropriate conservation strategies.
That the Draft Register of Significant Trees be adopted by Council and placed on Public Exhibition for a period of two months to allow comments and feedback from the community and other stakeholders and that at the expiration of that period a report be prepared addressing any issues raised in relation to the document.