Media Release

The Stop Urban Sprawl are holding a protest on Thursday 19th January at 11am to oppose some of the changes to tree protection being incorporated into council development plans by the Regulated Trees Development Plan Amendment. The rally will be held under a tree which is probably the oldest in Mount Barker and very photogenic.
"Proposed changes under the Regulated Trees Development Plan Amendment will lead to extensive losses of mature trees, an essential component of the amenity and character of hills towns”, said Ian Grosser, spokesperson for Stop Urban Sprawl.

One of the proposed changes renders all trees within 20 metres of a development exempt from protection in medium or high bushfire danger zones in urban areas within Mount Barker and Adelaide Hills districts. All of the district is zoned medium fire risk. Yet in most cases trees do not increase risks to houses during bushfire, and even assist by shielding houses from embers and decreasing wind velocity.

“We ask the minister to consider changing the proposed amendment to require all landowners to commission CFS assessment of whether or not a tree constitutes a fire hazard when applying for removal on the grounds of fire risk. This is currently the case in Mount Barker and results in 90% of claims that a tree is a bushfire risk being refuted."

The protest will be at the corner of Laver Street and Jordan Street, Mount Barker. Under the DPA, the iconic tree will have no protection. The tree is probably at least 300 years old and likely had affiliation with the local indigenous people.

“The iconic tree has a gnarled trunk full of character and a crown which, through good fortune and genes, appears to be on its third regeneration or more, a rare achievement. Although probably the oldest tree in the Mount Barker district, under the proposed amendment it could fall victim to a chainsaw.”

Written public submissions to the Regulated Trees Development Plan Amendment can be made until January 25  

at  the Regulated Trees Development Plan Amendment or by the link at, where additional information to assist submission writing can be found.

For further information contact Ian Grosser on 0409602436 or by email at

The comments are in Ian Grosser's capacity as spokesperson for Stop Urban Sprawl, not as councillor, and do not represent the views of the District Council of Mount Barker.

More on submissions.


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Posted January 1st, 2012