In a recent case where an Arborist was called upon to conduct an Arborist report as requested by the Brisbane City Council in the case of a property owner’s breach of the Natural Asset local Law 2003, the property owner was baffled by how they could be responsible for the breach when it was in fact the commissioned contractor who conducted the works.
Vegetation Protection Order.
On this property some of the vegetation was controlled by a Vegetation Protection Order, or VPO. In this instance the trees were all native forest hardwoods of moderate size, age and health. Not all were removed and some were left standing, but damaged by the works.
The property owner had been issued with fines and orders to remediate the property by means of offset planting and improvement of the ecosystem. What was not clear was whether the contactor was issued with a similar punishment. In this case the contractor is more to blame as they had been employed as the professional contractor and should have provided their client with all the available information, especially in regards to VPO’s. Had this occurred, the works may have been conducted satisfactorily and the property owner would not have significant fines to pay and the works could have been carried out correctly.
Cost Is High.
Sadly as a result, the property owner is out of pocket and some great trees have been incorrectly removed. How is it that this can still be happening? Well the ‘tree industry’ in Australia is unregulated, which means any person who can start a chainsaw can begin operating as a professional tree worker. They may not be trained, insured or a registered entity, but they can knock on your door and tell you their intensions and leave you with the mess. Unfortunately this leaves those who are trained, insured and genuine to be pooled together with these rouges. So be sure to do your research when commissioning tree works on your property, especially if the property is subject to a VPO or NALL.