Works Committee Meeting

 

  BUSINESS PAPER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday 14 September 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administrative Centre 30 Frances Street Randwick 2031

Telephone: 02 9399 0999 or

1300 722 542 (for Sydney metropolitan area)

Fax:02 9319 1510

general.manager@randwick.nsw.gov.au

www.randwick.nsw.gov.au


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Works Committee

14 September 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Committee Meeting

 

Notice is hereby given that a Works Committee Meeting of the Council of the City of Randwick will be held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, 90 Avoca Street, Randwick, on Tuesday, 14 September 2010 at 6:00pm.

 

 

Committee Members:           The Mayor, J Procopiadis, Andrews, Belleli, Bowen, Hughes, Matson, Matthews (Chairperson), Nash, Notley-Smith, Seng, Smith, Stevenson, Tracey, White (Deputy Chairperson) & Woodsmith

 

Quorum:                           Eight (8) members.

 

NOTE:    At the Extraordinary Meeting held on 28 September 2004, the Council resolved that the Works Committee be constituted as a committee with full delegation to determine matters on the agenda.

 

Apologies/Granting of Leave of Absences 

Confirmation of the Minutes  

Works Committee Meeting - 10 August 2010

Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests

Address of Committee by Members of the Public

Urgent Business

Works Reports

W23/10     Eastbourne Avenue, Clovelly - Request for Undergrounding of power lines

W24/10     Floodplain Management in Randwick City - Progress Update

W25/10     Crash Data for Anzac Parade at Maroubra Junction

W26/10     Tree Removal - Adjacent to 14 Inglethorpe Avenue, Kensington    

 

Notice of Rescission Motions

Nil 

 

 

…………………………………………………….

Ray Brownlee

General Manager


Works Committee

14 September 2010

 

 

 

Works Report No. W23/10

 

 

Subject:                  Eastbourne Avenue, Clovelly - Request for Undergrounding of power lines

Folder No:                   F2004/07176

Author:                   Joe Ingegneri, Co-ordinator Engineering Services     

 

Introduction

 

Council has received a request from a resident of Eastbourne Avenue, Clovelly on behalf of residents of Eastbourne Avenue for:

 

·       Council’s authorisation to allow a proposal to underground power lines along Eastbourne Avenue, Clovelly; and

 

·       A financial contribution by Council towards the cost of the work.

 

Issues

 

Mr Grunberger has consulted with residents of Eastbourne Avenue, Clovelly regarding a proposal to underground the power lines along the street.  We have been advised that the majority (19) of residents in Eastbourne Avenue have taken the initiative to fund a feasibility study for the project to be undertaken by EnergyAustralia. 

 

Aerial Photograph of Eastbourne Avenue

 

To date, the residents have paid $1,700 to EnergyAustralia for specifications to bury the power lines.  The residents have begun seeking quotations from Level 3 Service Providers to design and document the works.  The quotations received for this phase range between $5,000 and $10,000.

 

The cost of work to underground the power cannot be estimated with any certainty until the design is completed but will range between $350,000 and $450,000. The request seeks authorisation for this project from Council and funding assistance for the amount of $300,000 towards the design and the works.

 

The basis for this proposal arose following the rolling out of Aerial Bundling of Cables (ABC) by EnergyAustralia along Boundary Street.  Mr Grunberger is concerned the ABC will continue along Ocean Street and Eastbourne Avenue and that it will continue to visually impact the area.

 

The amount of funding assistance requested is $300,000 in line with estimated cost for this work in the Clovelly Bay Draft Plan of Management, 1998.

  

Assessment

 

Benefits

The undergrounding of power lines is normally done for aesthetic purposes.

 

The main beneficiaries of this proposal are the residents of the street as it will improve their views of Clovelly Bay and the coast.

 

Clovelly Bay Plan of Management

The final Clovelly Bay Plan of Management prepared by Manidis Roberts Consultants outlines the following action regarding power lines:

 

Table 18:   Action Plan for the area as a whole

Strategy

Action

Priority

Visual Quality

Power Lines. Liaise with Sydney Electricity to remove overhead power lines and replace with underground cables.

A3

 

Table 16:   Ranking

Priority

Description

A1

High priority — do first

A2

High priority — do second

A3

High priority — do third

B

Medium priority — do fourth

C

Low priority — do fifth

 

There is no costing for this work in the Clovelly Bay Plan of Management.

 

Technical

In response to requests by the community for EnergyAustralia to underground power, EnergyAustralia has claimed that distribution costs will increase and that it is not feasible. EnergyAustralia has no formal program to underground the power.  They do carry out aerial bundling to get past street trees.  This initiative is normally at the request of Councils.

 

The street lights are currently placed on the power poles.  Undergrounding the power lines will still require poles on which to mount the street lights.

 

The undergrounding of power is undertaken by EnergyAustralia on a case by case basis.  Any proposal requires Council authorisation.  The costs for the work are generally met by the proponent.

 


Financial Consideration

Council officers have assessed the request from residents along the coast to underground power on several occasions.  Although Council officers support the undergrounding of power, in principal, financial contribution towards this project has not been supported.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 6:        A Liveable City.

Direction 6a:       Our public assets are planned, managed and funded to meet the community expectations and defined levels of service.

Key Action:         Assets are managed strategically to deliver intergenerational equity and to meet Council’s obligation as the custodian of our community’s assets.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There are no funds allocated towards this project in the current Capital Works Budget.

 

Conclusion

 

The main benefit of undergrounding power lines for residents is to remove the power lines from residential view lines.  It also improves local aesthetics and streetscapes.

 

Council is responsible for 29km of coastline with many residents having a view of the coast.  Providing funding contribution for undergrounding of power lines will create a precedent requiring millions of dollars to implement across the local government area.

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

a)     Council provide authorisation to EnergyAustralia for the proposal to underground the power lines along Eastbourne Avenue, Clovelly to EnergyAustralia standards and specifications.

 

b)     the request for a funding contribution, to underground the power lines in Eastbourne Avenue, Clovelly, be refused.

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Works Committee

14 September 2010

 

 

 

Works Report No. W24/10

 

 

Subject:                  Floodplain Management in Randwick City - Progress Update

Folder No:                   F2004/07208

Author:                   Terry  Kefalianos, Drainage Engineer; Joe Ingegneri, Manager Technical Services     

 

Introduction

 

The prime responsibility for planning and management of flood issues in NSW rests with local government.  Randwick City Council has committed to carrying out Flood Studies and preparing Floodplain Management Plans.  They are carried out in accordance with the Floodplain Development Manual (NSW Government) and will allow Council to manage flooding in storm events.

 

The purpose of this report is to:

 

·       Establish Terms of Reference for the various Floodplain Management Committees.

·       Obtain representation from Council’s elected representatives on the committees.

·       Outline progress of current studies and next steps.

 

The Floodplain Management Committees need to be established for the following catchments:

 

·       Green Square and West Kensington

·       Kensington - Centennial Park

·       Maroubra Bay

·       Coogee Bay.

 

The benefits of implementing the NSW Government’s Floodplain Development Manual in Randwick are as follows:

 

·       Adopted strategic plans outlining the actions to be undertaken to manage existing, future and continuing flood problems.  (e.g. works, development controls etc)

·       A basis for the sound management of flooding issues that takes community views and expectations into consideration.

·       A basis from which funding assistance can be sought from various State and Commonwealth agencies to enable implementation of works.

·       Legal protection for Council and its staff against claims for damages resulting from their issuing advice or granting approvals, providing they have acted substantially in accordance with the principles contained in the Floodplain Development Manual.

 

Individual developments are currently required to produce their own flood study and determine appropriate flood planning levels until such time as the Floodplain Management Process is completed for each catchment in Randwick.  The studies being undertaken by Council will provide far greater accuracy and consistency than those currently being provided by individual developers.

 

 

 

Issues

 

State Government Support

 

The NSW Government provides assistance on state-wide policy issues and technical support.  Financial assistance is also provided through grant funding to undertake flood studies and floodplain management studies and for the implementation of works identified in these studies.

 

The Flood Prone Land Policy and the Floodplain Development Manual [NSW Government, 2005] forms the basis of floodplain management in NSW.

 

The primary objective of the policy is to reduce the impact of flooding and flood liability on individual owners and occupiers of flood prone property and to reduce private and public losses resulting from floods utilising ecologically positive methods wherever possible.

 

The Floodplain Management Process

 

The floodplain management process is outlined in the Floodplain Development Manual and is summarised by the following figure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floodplain Management Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data Collection

è

Flood Study

è

Floodplain Management Study

è

Floodplain Management Plan

è

Plan Implementation

 

 

 

ç

ç

ç

ç

ç

ç

ç

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time frame for completion

 

 

 

 

 

6-9 months

9-12 months

12 months

ongoing

 

The key steps in the process are the Flood Study, the Floodplain Management Study and the Floodplain Management Plan.  Implementation of the process is overseen by the Floodplain Management Committee.

 

Priority for implementation

 

There are 10 major catchments within the Randwick local government area for which the floodplain management process needs to be implemented.  A map of the 10 catchments is attached to this report.  Due to resource constraints, the catchments have been prioritised for study.

 

Greater priority has been given to catchments with the greater potential for flood damage.  This has been done to remain consistent with the primary objective of the Flood Prone Land Policy.

 

The priority for study is based on the information currently available within Council regarding the potential for flood damage.  This information is limited and includes significant historical flood events as well as the natural topography of the catchments.  Specific detail on the extent and severity of flooding within individual catchments will not be known until the individual studies have been completed.  The priorities for study are as follows:

 

 

 

Priority

 

 

Catchment

Anticipated time frame

 

Flood Study

Floodplain Management Study

1

Green Square and West Kensington

Complete

2010-11

2

Kensington – Centennial Park

2010-11

2011-12

3

Maroubra Bay

2010-11

2011-12

4

Coogee Bay

2010-11

2011-12

5

Kingsford - Maroubra

2011-12

2012-13

6

Matraville

2012-13

2013-14

7

Yarra Bay

2013-14

2014-15

8

Malabar

2014-15

2015-16

9

Lurline Bay

2015-16

2016-17

10

Clovelly

2016-17

2017-18

 

The Status of Randwick City Council 

 

The floodplain management process has commenced in 4 catchments with consultants appointed to undertake the flood studies or floodplain management studies.  The status of the 4 catchments is as follows:

 

Catchment

Status

Next Step

Green Square and West Kensington Flood Study (in conjunction with City of Sydney)

Flood Study Complete

Floodplain management study in progress.

Community consultation on management options.

Preparation of Floodplain Management Study report and plan.

Kensington - Centennial Park Catchment

Flood Study in progress.

Preparation of Flood Study report.

Public exhibition of flood study.

Maroubra Bay Flood Study

Flood Study in progress.

Public exhibition of flood study.

Commencement of the Floodplain Management Study and Plan.

Coogee Bay Food Study

Flood Study commenced

Establishment of computer models.

Community input on flood history.

 

Floodplain Management Committees

 

The objective of Floodplain Management Committees is to assist Council in the development and implementation of floodplain management studies and plans.

 

The committees are both the focus of, and a forum for, the discussion of technical, social, economic and ecological issues and for the distillation of possibly differing viewpoints on these issues.  The committees will oversee the implementation of the floodplain management process outlined above and ensure the community has opportunity to express their views.

 

Committee membership includes elected representatives, community representatives, Council staff and State Government representatives.

 

The community representatives will be selected from nominations by community members.  We will advertise in the local paper calling for nominations.

 

The committees provide advice to Council on flooding related policies and objectives for their respective catchments as well as the implementation of the floodplain management process.

 

Work is well advanced on the various studies with many of these studies at a point were community input is required.  It is now timely to formalise Terms of Reference for each of the committees overseeing these studies and confirm membership to these committees. The attached standard template forms the basis of the terms of reference for each committee.  The following committees will be established:

 

·       Green Square and West Kensington Floodplain Management Committee.

·       Kensington - Centennial Park Floodplain Management Committee.

·       Maroubra Bay Floodplain Management Committee.

·       Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee.

 

Two (2) elected representatives are also required for each of the established committees.  Once the committees are formed they will provide detailed reports to Council and make recommendations.

 

Disclosure of Information

 

Legal advice has been obtained regarding Council’s duty to disclose information from flood studies on planning certificates issued under section 149 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. At this time no changes are proposed to planning certificates issued under Section 149(2) of the Act. It is proposed to place a notation on planning certificates issued under Section 149(5) of the Act for all properties within the Maroubra Bay catchment.  The intent of this notation is to notify residents that Council possesses the Maroubra Bay Flood Study and information regarding flooding can be provided upon request.  A notation is also proposed for properties within the Green Square and West Kensington Catchment on a similar basis.

 

In order to obtain community input and manage the release of this information, an extensive consultation program is being progressively implemented.  Consultation during the public exhibition of the Flood Study will provide the community with information on existing flooding conditions within the catchment.  Consultation during the Floodplain Management Study will cover the implications of flooding on properties and the various management options available.  The following outlines indicative consultation programs for the Maroubra Bay catchment and for the Green Square and West Kensington catchment.

 

MAROUBRA BAY CONSULTATION PROGRAM

 

Flood Study

Task

Timing

Project Briefing to local Chamber of Commerce and Precinct Committee

Completed

Community survey on flooding experience

Newspaper advertisements

Community Kiosk

Follow up interviews with key members of community

Public exhibition of Flood Study

During public exhibition of Flood Study

Letter to residents

Letter to real estate agents

Newspaper advertisements for public exhibition

Community information session

 

 

Floodplain Management Study

Task

Timing

Letter to all residents inviting participation in Floodplain Management Study

During Floodplain Management Study

Community questionnaire regarding preferred management options to residents requesting participation

Media release and newspaper advertisements regarding participation in questionnaire

Invitations to community workshops for residents requesting participation

Media release and newspaper advertisements regarding participation in workshops

Community workshops

Letters to residents regarding public exhibition of Floodplain Management Study and Plan

During public exhibition of Floodplain Management Study and Plan

Public exhibition of Floodplain Management Study and Plan

Media release and newspaper advertisements regarding public exhibition

 

GREEN SQUARE AND WEST KENSINGTON CONSULTATION PROGRAM

 

Flood Study

Task

Timing

Public exhibition of Flood Study

Complete

Newspaper advertisements for public exhibition

Community information session

 

 

Floodplain Management Study

Task

Timing

Letter to all residents inviting participation in Floodplain Management Study

During Floodplain Management Study

Community questionnaire regarding preferred management options to residents requesting participation

Media release and newspaper advertisements regarding participation in questionnaire

Invitations to community workshops for residents requesting participation

Media release and newspaper advertisements regarding participation in workshops

Community workshops

Letters to residents regarding public exhibition of Floodplain Management Study and Plan

During public exhibition of Floodplain Management Study and Plan

Public exhibition of Floodplain Management Study and Plan

Media release and newspaper advertisements regarding public exhibition

 

 

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 6:       A Liveable City.

Direction 6a:      Our public assets are planned, managed and funded to meet the community expectations and defined levels of service.

 

Financial Impact Statement

 

The Floodplain management process costs approximately $250,000 - $300,000 per catchment. Grant funding is available from state government on a 2:1 basis.  Therefore, the cost to Randwick Council is approximately $85,000 to $100,000 per catchment.  The floodplain management committees are a part of this process.

 

Funding is available in this year’s budget and the long term financial plan to operate the committees and carry out this work.

 

Conclusion

 

Flood Studies and Floodplain Management Studies for various catchments in Randwick are well advanced.  In order to ensure the timely completion of these studies it is necessary to formalise the floodplain management committees.

 

Recommendation

 

That:

 

1.     the report be received and noted

 

2.     Council adopts the Terms of Reference, as attached,  for the following committees:

 

(a)    Green Square and West Kensington Floodplain Management Committee.

(b)    Kensington - Centennial Park Floodplain Management Committee.

(c)    Maroubra Bay Floodplain Management Committee.

(d)    Coogee Bay Floodplain Management Committee; and

 

3.     nominations for two (2) elected representatives be made to the General Manager for each committee.

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Floodplain Management Study Catchments

 

2.View

Floodplain Management Committee Terms of Reference

 

 

 

 


Floodplain Management Study Catchments

Attachment 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Floodplain Management Committee Terms of Reference

Attachment 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TERMS OF REFERENCE

[COMMITTEE NAME] FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

 

 

 

1.      Name

 

The Committee shall be known as the [Committee name] Floodplain Management Committee.

 

2.      Objectives

 

The objective of the committee is to oversee the implementation of the State Government’s Flood Policy in the Green Square and West Kensington catchments.  That is:

 

2.1   To reduce the impact of flooding and flood damages on individual owners and occupiers of land.

2.2   To reduce private and public losses resulting from flooding.

2.3   To ensure that flood liable land is recognized as a valuable resource.

2.4   To utilize environmentally positive methods wherever possible.

 

3.      Strategies

 

The strategies that are to be employed by the committee to meet the objectives are:

 

3.1     Commission flood studies or build on existing studies.

3.2     Define the total flood hazard.

3.3     Determine Management options via Floodplain Management Studies.

3.4     Develop and update a Floodplain Management Plan.

3.5     Establish development control options.

 

4.      Principles

 

This committee will operate under the following guiding principles:

 

4.1   The committee will work in partnership with Council and other community and government organisations while working within the bounds of the above objectives and the roles and responsibilities referred to below.

4.2   The committee and its members will actively liaise with the local community and council and will regularly communicate its activities and decisions to council.

4.3   The committee will form a view on matters before it and shall respond in a timely manner.  In those instances where requests for comment are made by Council, the committee can request the Council to incorporate such views into council reports being prepared on the subject.

4.4   The committee and its members will seek to reach a consensus position on all issues and matters dealt with by the committee.

4.5   The committee and its members will continuously identify opportunities for the improvement of the operation of the committee.

5.      Determinations

 

The committee shall be an advisory body, operating on a consensus basis, which submits recommendations for consideration by Randwick City Council.

 

Where formal voting is required, each member of the committee shall have one vote.  In the event of an equality of votes the Chairperson shall have a casting vote.

 

6.      Council’s Code of Conduct

       

Committee members agree to abide by Council’s adopted Code of Conduct a copy of which will be provided to all committee members on an annual basis.

 

7.      Values

 

Committee members agree to abide by Council’s adopted ‘ICARE’ values, which are as follows:

 

Integrity is ensuring transparency and honestly in all our activities.

 

Customer Focus is delivering prompt, courteous and helpful service and being responsive to people’s changing needs.              

 

Accountability is accepting our responsibility for the provision of quality services and information that meet agreed standards.

 

Respect is treating everyone with courtesy, dignity and fairness regardless of our own feelings about the person or the issue.

 

Excellence is being recognised for providing services, programs and information which consistently meet and exceed expectations, through the use of best known practices and innovation.

 

8.      Responsibilities of members

 

Committee members are asked to contribute their time and views on matters listed on the agenda of committee meetings, free of bias.  Committee members are required to comply with the committee adopted Terms of Reference and Constitution and to abide by Council’s Code of Conduct and ICARE Values. 

 

9.      Responsibilities of Council

 

        Council will provide secretariat support, including minute taking and professional officer support as appropriate.

 

10.    Delegated authority

 

Delegations are functions carried out by the Council that are delegated to employees or other bodies (including community committees) to carry out on its behalf.

 

Generally speaking Council’s community committees are advisory and, as such, do not have any delegated authority from Council.

 

This committee has not been delegated authority by Council.  Any decisions of the committee must be referred to Council or implemented by a member of staff with an appropriate delegation.

 

11.    Membership

 

The committee shall consist of the following members:

 

Representative

Number

Method of appointment

 

 

 

Councillors

2

Resolution of Council

Community representatives

2

Criteria specified below

Council Staff

4

By job position

State Emergency Service (SES)

1

Nominated by SES

Adjoining councils and, Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, as appropriate

1 each

Nominated by the individual organisations

Department of  Environment and Climate Change (DECC)

1

Nominated by DECC

 

Unless otherwise notified by Council, the community members will serve for the term of the Council.

 

Community representatives will be sought through existing community organisations such as the local Precinct Committee and the local Chamber of Commerce.  The criteria taken into consideration for membership of the committee as a community representative are:

 

11.1    Interest in issues relating to flooding and disaster management

11.2    Commitment to the interest of the community in flooding issues.

11.3    Interest in conserving, maintaining or protecting the natural environment.

11.4    Appreciation of Council’s role and capabilities.

11.5    Ability to be part of the team and meet the common objective of the committee.

11.6    Ability to represent community views in the floodplain management process and inform the community of the outcomes of the floodplain management process.

 

12.    Committee operation        

 

The committee will develop a Constitution that provides for its administrative operations.

 

The Constitution, as a minimum, will provide for the following:

 

12.1    The frequency of meetings

12.2    Appropriate office bearers and the election of office bearers

12.3    Agenda and minutes.

 

13.    Amendments to terms of reference

 

These Terms of Reference shall only be amended by a resolution by Randwick City Council.


Works Committee

14 September 2010

 

 

 

Works Report No. W25/10

 

 

Subject:                  Crash Data for Anzac Parade at Maroubra Junction

Folder No:                   F2004/08338

Author:                   Heidi Leadley, Community Road Safety Officer       

 

 

Introduction

 

At Council’s Works Committee meeting held 20 July 2010, it was resolved (Andrews/Notley-Smith):

 

‘That:

 

a)     the Crash Data Analysis 2004-2008 and Action Plan 2010-2011 be noted.

 

b)     a report be brought back to the Works Committee detailing updated crash data figures for motor vehicle and pedestrian related incidents at Anzac Parade, Maroubra Junction in vicinity of ‘Pacific Square’ (since the shopping centre has been operating at full capacity).’

 

An analysis has been undertaken and the information is as follows.

 

Issues

 

The official opening of Pacific Square was held in December 2007, therefore the data reviewed was until full year ending December 2008.  RTA crash data availability is delayed while the information and reporting of crashes is verified and in the case of a death, this can mean waiting for a coroner’s report.  Generally verified data has a lag of 12 months; therefore the most current data available to date is to December 2008.

 

The data reviewed included all northbound crashes on Anzac Parade from Maroubra Road to Boyce Road and all crashes on Maroubra Road between Anzac Parade and Ferguson Street.

 

CRASH TYPES

Number of Crashes

2005

2006

2007

2008

Injury crashes

1

3

2

7

Tow-away crashes

3

5

7

9

Total crashes

4

8

9

16

 

 

 

 

 

Pedestrian crashes

1

2

2

2

Pedestrian % of all crashes

25%

25%

22%

13%

 

While there has been an increase in the number of crashes in the identified area, there has not been an increase in the percentage of pedestrian crashes.  This is highlighted in the following graphs.

Please note that the number of crashes is quite small and does not represent a statistically significant sample.  The information is a guide only and it is proposed to submit a second report to the committee in 18 months (April 2012) when a more significant amount of data should be available.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 6:       A liveable City.

Direction 6c:      The safety of our community is paramount and is acknowledged and supported through proactive policies, programmes and strategies.

 

Financial impact statement

 

There is no direct financial impact for this matter.

 


Conclusion

 

The opening of Pacific Square has not had a significant impact on pedestrian crash rates to date.

 

Recommendation

 

That the information on pedestrian crash rates in front of Pacific Square at Maroubra Junction be noted.

 

Attachment/s:

 

Nil

 

 


Works Committee

14 September 2010

 

 

 

Works Report No. W26/10

 

 

Subject:                  Tree Removal - Adjacent to 14 Inglethorpe Avenue, Kensington

Folder No:                   F2004/07359

Author:                   Bryan Bourke, Tree Management Officer     

 

Introduction

 

The owners of 14 Inglethorpe Avenue, Kensington, have experienced regular and ongoing sewer blockages within their property caused by Ficus ‘Hillii’ tree root intrusion since well before 1997.

 

During that same period Council has removed and replaced sections of damaged footpath on at least two occasions and the three Ficus ‘Hillii’ have to be regularly pruned away from the residence and out of overhead powerlines.

 

Issues

 

The footpath adjacent to the above property was recently removed because it constituted a major liability issue for Council and when affected slabs were removed it was revealed that several large roots from the three adjacent Council-owned Hill’s Weeping figs were not only responsible for lifting those slabs but were also causing structural damage to the adjacent residence.

 

The three subject trees average eighteen metres in height with canopy spreads of around sixteen metres. All three are in good health and contribute significantly to the streetscape of Tedwin Avenue. They are also important providers of habitat and food source for a variety of native birdlife and other fauna.

 

Council’s Tree Gang recently severed all damaging tree roots on the two eastern-most trees and this has allowed for a large section of footpath to be repaired in concrete. They also removed a number of large roots running along the side brick fence of the property. However, in relation to the western-most fig, there is a very large root running under the footpath area and into the rear of the property. This root is cracking and damaging a rendered walkway within the rear yard.

 

Council’s Tree Gang arborist advises that it would not be feasible with this particular tree to remove the amount of intruding and damaging tree root material required to negate any damage without affecting the health and long-term viability of this particular tree.

 

Relationship to City Plan

 

The relationship with the City Plan is as follows:

 

Outcome 10:      A Healthy Environment.

Direction 10b:    Environmental risks and impacts are strategically managed.

 

Financial impact statement

 

It is estimated that the removal of the western tree and its replacement with a super-advanced alternative species will cost in the vicinity of $2,500. The required funds would come from Council’s annual tree management budget.

 

Conclusion

 

The large western-most Ficus ‘Hillii’ street tree adjacent to the property at 14 Inglethorpe Avenue, Kensington, is an important visual component of the streetscape of Tedwin Avenue, Kensington.

 

The tree is estimated to be at least 60 years old and up until this point every effort has been made to retain it, despite the fact that tree root damage has progressively increased in both scope and severity.

 

The subject tree has been assessed as having significant scenic amenity value and with providing important habitat and food source for a variety of fauna. Because of the damage being caused by its roots, the impact of removal on land degradation would be negligible. Using Australian Standard ASDR99307 it has been calculated that the tree has an amenity value of $14,400. This calculation takes into account its inappropriateness as a street tree specimen over the long-term and the fact that its roots are causing increasingly serious damage to both private property and public infrastructure, which is impacting adversely on the amenity of the adjacent property owner. Because of the size and amount of root material required to be removed to abate the range of damage now being caused by this tree, root pruning is no longer a viable option. This is supported by the report provided by Council’s Tree Gang arborist.

 

The only feasible long-term management option would be to remove this tree and to replace it with a more appropriate tree species – as nominated in Council’s Street Tree Masterplan. To retain the tree any longer will mean that the damage being caused to private property in particular is likely to increase quite sharply and this will inevitably cost Council an increasing amount to deal with. Any such measures would only be a temporary solution, as it is impossible to sever the roots required to completely abate tree root damage and retain the tree in a safe condition.

 

The removal of the tree would impact adversely on the visual amenity of the streetscape but this would be mitigated to some degree by the fact that there are numerous mature Ficus ‘Hillii’ street trees growing along the length of the northern side of the street. Because the removal of this tree would not represent more than five percent of total existing vegetative canopy cover within Tedwin Avenue its removal/replacement will not contravene Council’s resolution that “no more than five percent of Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) street trees be removed in any twelve-month period from streets where there are designated significant plantings of this species”.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Council-owned Ficus ‘Hillii’ (Hill’s Weeping fig) growing adjacent to 14 Inglethorpe Avenue, Kensington, be removed and replaced with a more appropriate species – as nominated in Council’s Street Tree Masterplan.

 

Attachment/s:

 

1.View

Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by the tree’s roots.

 

 

 

 


Series of photographs detailing the importance of the subject tree in the streetscape and the range of damage being caused to both public infrastructure and private property by the tree’s roots.

Attachment 1

 

 

Three Ficus ‘Hillii’ street trees adjacent 14 Inglethorpe Ave – in Tedwin Ave

 

 

Large Ficus root travels along fence footing and over the top of sewer/stormwater pipes

 

Photograph showing size of tree root and proximity to sewer and stormwater pipes

 

 

Tree root has dislodged and cracked section of brick fence in Tedwin Ave

Some roots have been previously severed but one large root has travelled into property

 

 

Large tree root has entered rear of property and damaged rendered walkway

Large tree root from western-most tree travels westward and into adjacent property

 

 

Footpath adjacent to two eastern-most trees was able to be replaced after root pruning

Small section of recently replaced footpath – note tree root damage to brick fence