Letter to the Editor: Plane tree issues in Inverell are a matter of opinion

Councillor Anthony Michael’s perspective

As Chairman of Inverell Shire’s CBD Committee, I must address the numerous inaccuracies in Caroline Wilson’s letter headed ‘Plane Tree Issues’ –  Inverell Times August 25 2017.  

Ms Wilson’s misunderstanding of the issues (displayed over a lengthy period) concerns me greatly.

The facts are:

• Council will be replacing the plane trees which were planted in concrete pipes with a more appropriate tree species.

• This work will be carried out over a number of years.

• This replacement program is being undertaken because of the damage being caused to both public and private property.  Also, the trees are a trip hazard for users of the CBD.

• The tree canopy in the CBD can be enhanced if the proposed CBD upgrade proceeds through the planting of trees in the centre of the road reserve.

• This proposed upgrade is NOT a multi-million dollar plan.

• The estimated cost to do Otho Street is $450,000, plus the cost of the trees. The plan for this area is to replace 9 plane trees with 14 more suitable trees.

• The Special Rate Variation has nothing to do with the proposed CBD upgrade. The funds raised from the SRV will be spent on fixing country roads and no funds raised from the SRV will be spent on the CBD.

I support the replacement of the plane trees because to do nothing and accept the potential for residents to suffer a serious injury by tripping over exposed tree roots is an unsustainable position. The problem needs to be fixed now, before the plane trees mature and cause significant damage thus ensuring the cost of dealing with the problem is much larger.  

Cr Anthony Michael 

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