Corinne Fisher

Corinne Fisher who last year took the reins of a fledging community action group in Sydney, the Better Planning Network, and turned it into a powerful coalition of groups credited with halting the NSW planning reforms, is stepping down.

Fisher told The Fifth Estate she would hand the reins to Jeanette Brokman, before heading off for a long break with her family.

But before leaving, Fisher has lobbed another grenade in the direction of the NSW government. This time it’s to protest what’s been labelled rampant tree lopping under the so-called 1050 rules designed to protect property from bushfires but used by many residents to open up pleasant, property value enhancing views, Fisher says.

In a media statement on Tuesday distributed by Fisher and another coalition of community groups from Sydney and the Central Coast said Fisher said there would be a protest outside the NSW premier Mike Baird’s office next Monday.

The protest will be hosted by the Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society, Save Little Manly Foreshore Inc, Beecroft-Cheltenham Civic Trust and Mosman Parks and Bushland Association.

As part of the protest, groups and individuals will present the premier with stumps of trees that have recently been cut in their neighbourhoods under Code 10/50 for reasons that have nothing to do with bushfire, Fisher said.

In her role as Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society spokesperson Fisher said:  “We now know that Code 10/50 is being widely misused and that it is a complete and utter policy failure.  Why the premier hasn’t yet stopped this carnage of our neighbourhoods boggles the mind.”

9 replies on “Tree carnage is out of control, BPN's Corinne Fisher says, before passing the reins”

  1. I live in Mosman where trees, especially large ones, are being felled at an alarming rate. Two in my street (of only 15 homes)with another two planned, one for a swimming pool by the owners’ admission. This 10/50 rule is a JOKE – just allows people to place greed and self-interest above beautiful trees which are our very LIFE BLOOD (not to mention the poor birds and animals who call them home).The 10/50 law was a knee-jerk reaction to devastating bush fires; ill conceived and ineffective. Trees can actually help absorb a bushfire.

  2. We have lost 244 trees in Lane Cove since 1st August. With no checks and balances on this poor delivery of policy in the form of Code10/50, neighbourhoods are being ruined, the canopy is opening up to extra UV and tension between tree lovers and tree killers is growing. Please help lobby to gain a moratorium on Code10/50 so that people with intelligence and common sense can implement procedures to stop the abuse of Code10/50 by developers, property owners and tree haters. Without trees, we have no mental health. There is nothing mentally healthy about people abusing the Code10/50 in no risk zones for bushfire.

  3. I live in Wahroonga, about 500 metres from the shopping centre. The chain saws have been very noticeable over the past few weeks, with people removing ‘annoying’ trees that are dropping ‘debris’ on their gardens. One neighbour removed an enormous Sydney blue gum last week; the tree must have been 50 -100 years old. No doubt the neighbour was perfectly within their rights under the new code, but there is a problem with the code. It is, as usual, a ‘one code fits all’ – government needs to re-think the code and re-structure it, so that bushfire prone areas are protected, but so is the unique environment of our areas. This is not a matter for local Councils – it is a problem created by the NSW Government and they need to fix it!

  4. I used to donate to the Fire services but no longer unless this Code is reversed. The RFS 10/50 code has introduced wholesale ‘Self-Assessment’ of trees, denying the Council experts their role in maintaining and protecting our native heritage, remnant and endangered tree species. There is NO OVERSIGHT of what is removed or illegally removed. It’s as ill conceived and rushed as ‘the home insulation scheme’ implementation. When 1 in 4 Australian were not born here,& even if they were, is it surprising that few have any idea of tree species? In my street, enormous trees were illegally removed and 3 people loudly abused by the tree lopper, me being one. The Minister is wrong in saying that a Councils change of classification will fix it.

  5. This one-size-fits-all legislation is devastating the landscape of many areas around the state, not only in the suburbs. The claim by the Minister and the RFS that it is up to Councils to change their classification of bushfire prone ares is wrong when one reads the definition of the classification categories and even so the “entitlement” areas are still 150m from the risk area. We need an immediate moritorium as the only way to stop the destruction.

  6. A group of residents in Lave Cove has been recording the cutting down of our neighbourhood trees under the 10/50 code. Of the 240+ trees lost 99% of them went for reasons OTHER THAN BUSHFIRE RISK. This legislation has undone the benefits of the council’s tree preservation laws which have been in place for 30 years to protect the leafy amenity of our area. It is an ill-conceived piece of legislation and needs to be repealed IMMEDIATELY to stop future abuse.

  7. I am a local resident living one block from the central shopping centre of Lane cove and in a street definitely not at risk of bushfire. Last Friday a neighbour in the same street used code 10/50 to remove an annoying eucalyptus tree from her property. the landscape of our leafy suburb seems to be changing overnight due to this blatant abuse of the code.

  8. The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust has been active for 50 years in protecting the heritage, environment and character of Beecroft and Cheltenham. We were horrified to hear that the NSW Government passed this law on 1st August without any announcement or community consultation.

    This legislation is a developers dream. A local resident has written:
    “I have a limb salvaged from a 100 year old Deodara Cedar tree from a neighbouring property, where the motivation for chopping it down, along with three Turpentines, was to subdivide without the trees as an impediment to approval. (Stated by the owner, a new-comer to the suburb…)”

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