Apr 12

Council Says Yes, Council Says No…

Last night Diane Chester attended the council meeting, and during general business Des Hudson brought Council’s attention to emails he had received during the week regarding the destruction of the trees on Stockade Street. Eric Brasilis, Director of Growth and Development, confirmed that the trees were protected under the conditions of the planning permit and the developer did not have permission to remove the them.

Then he went on to say the trees were assessed by the City Council arborist after felling, while they were laying on the ground, and they were deemed to be unhealthy and unsafe.

What? The developer DIDN’T have a permit, but it okay, free pass, no consequences? Can you hear the sounds of back tracking?

The community demands answers from our council about:

  • the inadequacy of the planning process
  • the consequences for the developer (either way he DID NOT have a permit)
  • the inconsistency in approach between planning and environment

It concern us greatly that the assessment was conducted by the same authority that would incur the cost and effort of prosecuting the offence, after the offence had occurred.

Mr Brasilis assured Cr Hudson that council was working with the developer to ensure some offset be provided. The residents of Ballarat East will be following this issue closely. It is unfortunate that the trees were not assessed at the time they were protected in 2010, a mere two years ago in the life of a century old tree. I’m sure the development could have been designed at the time to provide enough space to protect the healthy tree and perhaps enhance the area as the planning scheme so frequently suggests.

As the situation stands, this development takes from this community and gives nothing back. How many developments of this kind can Ballarat East accommodate? No more we say…

Further news in the local paper here…


  1. BE Network says:

    Thanks Steve, the outcome of talks with council are here:
    however I think your point is great, the contractors didn’t make sure all the correct permits were in place, nor care, so yes they should be liable too, and should be taken off the list of suppliers to council if they are one. Its good leverage for council!!

  2. Steve B says:

    I wonder if Cr Hudson – or any other councillor – could ask about whether there is a specific fine for breaching the planning permit and removing the tree. If there are no explicit consequences, no wonder the developer didn’t bother to abide by permit conditions… Perhaps we need a local law that makes the individual who felled the tree personally liable for a major fine -and if the individual cannot be identified, the property owner/developer becomes eligible for a fine 5 times the nominated amount…

  3. Diane says:

    A friend of mine was late paying her parking fine last month and had to pay an extra $27 to the BCC. But if you want to totally ignore the planning process you can get off scott free!

  4. Judy Robinson says:

    I too thank Cr Hudson for bringing this to council’s attention. A fine for not following due process would seem to be in order, but I think the main issue is for us to be ahead of planning instead of always playing catch up. Can we get a process happening where we have trees assessed and protected before sub-division plans are made? They don’t necessarily have to be old trees either as we need a balance for future growth. Old trees supply oxygen and protection for new growth. New growth I think needs oxygen to grow up to a certain level of development. We need both. We could also do some planning for ourselves and find a developer who would be sympathetic to the area and our needs and develop accordingly.

  5. kaye murray says:

    Absolutely outrageous, how dare they: Doesn’t VCAT stand for any thing? Or are council and the developers a law unto themselves. Well done you guys at Ballarat East Network, keep up the good work

  6. Colleen says:

    I too would like to know what are the consequences – what an insult to say that the arborist gave the verdict after the felling! It is like a bad joke.

  7. Alice Christie says:

    I’d like to thank Councillor Des Hudson for raising this issue in Council. What steps will the Council take now against the developer who illegally felled these 2 protected trees? As this was the case. If nothing is done developers appear to be able to ignore protected trees under planning permits. Are developers controlling the planning department and Council?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Box

About BE Net

Ballarat East Network (BE Net) has been developed by residents to support the community of Ballarat East shape and protect the East by supporting sustainable, good design that reflects our Neighbourhood Character.

Subscribing to our blog (see below).

Contributing your issues by email to infoATballarateastDOTnet

Sharing what happens in your part of BE, like those yellow sign.

Join the growing list of interested residents and supporters who want to protect the personality of Ballarat East, by reading the posts, commenting and taking your own action.

Sign up for BE Net enews

For news and information about supporting good design and protecting neighbourhood character for our area.
* = required field

Contribute to BE Net

BE Net is as good as the information we share. There are no rights and wrongs. We just love to hear from you!

BE Net is about sharing information about happenings in Ballarat East, to support a vision for our past, our personality, with a goal to inform our sustainable and charming future.

Please subscribe above (all welcome), and contribute by email to infoATballarateastDOTnet

Please include your name and email address so that we can talk to you before we post your information.