WHEN Evans Head resident Geoff Crouch’s landlord cut down what the tenant thought was a rare rose apple tree, Mr Crouch was shocked to find his council did not have a Tree Preservation Order in place.

“I think the council is about 20 years behind the times not having one,” he said.

Richmond Valley Council’s acting general manager Derek Swanborough said the reason the council does not have a TPO is because “legislation exists for the protection of important areas and stands of vegetation”.

But Byron Shire Council’steam leader of natural environment, Angus Underwood, said Byron council’s TPO allows the council to have more control over clearing.

“TPOs reflect community values of the local government area and some local councils may not see the need to have them in place,” he said.

Lismore Environmental Defender’s Office solicitor Ian Ratcliffe said TPOs cover urban, but not rural areas like freehold within the Richmond Valley Council area.

Instead, rural areas are governed by the Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NSW) which places restrictions on the removal native vegetation.

Lismore Northern Star

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