Where We Are
The Sutherland Shire (known colloquially as the Shire) is located in the southern region of Sydney. Intended to be the first British settlement, it has Aboriginal roots with the Dharawal people dating back at least 8,500 years. Though modernised now and part of the greater Sydney metropolitan area, the Sutherland Shire might be most well-known for being host to the Royal National Park, the second oldest national park in the world. The Shire has a lot of trees both on public and private lands. With that many trees, the Shire has an efficient system for tree removal.
The Shire defines trees into two categories: protected and unprotected. Protected trees are mainly the older trees (100mm or more in diameter at least 500 mm above the ground). This category includes mangroves and bush vegetation as well as any trees growing closer than 4m to a water source. The Shire Council requires an application for council approval for tree removal barring a few specific exceptions. For pruning the Shire Council requires an application unless the owner of the property plans on pruning less than 10% of the canopy on the property. The Shire’s local government prioritises preserving the vegetation and canopy cover for the future. There is an extensive list of trees that fall outside the bounds of an application that can be removed without any permissions including most cypress species, the Box Elder, and the Canary Islands Date Palm.
The Shire Council has strict guidelines for tree removal and pruning on public lands. The Council is self-policing in that they have set the guidelines for tree removal that they are required to abide by. The Council removes trees for safety reasons: contact with structures, damaged branches, or are hazardous. They do allow pruning to form the trees.
A Community Dedicated to Nature Preservation
The Sutherland Shire Council has polled hundreds of residents in public surveys and has found that Sutherland Shire residents are very connected to the natural environment. Sutherland Shire has an array of native vegetation made up of bushland, waterways, and a tree canopy. Being as there are two national parks and one state park within its borders the Sutherland Shire has a large variety of green spaces, and as the Royal National Park is situated in between roughly one-third to one-half of the region, the Shire is known for its natural beauty. The Sutherland Shire Council’s policies reflect a dedication to protect their green spaces continually and to encourage vegetation corridors between neighbourhoods to increase the robust web of vegetation throughout the region.