The Community Consultation Process


I was talking to a friend at the supermarket tonight who is very keen to be part of the community consultation process and she asked me if I knew how she can ensure she has some input into this.

I had to tell her I didn’t know, but I was really pleased to  receive a letter today from Mr Peter Kranz, Senior Council Arborist, in reply to comments I had made at the Community Consultation Forum at the end of  November.

The letter was to assure me that ‘the community consultation process will not assume tree removal of the existing trees. The consultation process is for the design of the Laman Street Civic Precinct. It is proposed that this process will commence December 2009 and conclude May 2010.

The consultation process will include community meetings and focus group workshops to enable direct input of interested community members.

‘We look forward to your input in the consultation process.’

The opportunity to work with Council on this is what the whole community want. We all need to take into account a balance between the issue of public liability versus the enormous benefits of these trees.

On a Victorian arboricultural website, Tony Blair is quoted as having said in 2005 that Britain

“is in danger of having a wholly disproportionate attitude to the risk that we should expect to run as a normal part of life.

“The result is a plethora of rules, guidelines, responses, to ‘scandals’ of one nature or another that ends up having utterly perverse consequences .

“My introduction to the world of tree risk management leads me to the conclusion that it is disproportionately risk adverse and is having utterly perverse consequences.”

Quoted at Tree Logic’s website$file/GlennWaters.pdf 

Tree Logic have some resources I find really informative if you want to see how difficult assessing tree risk is. They held a seminar recently with some very famous arboriculturists; it was interesting that they took the group through an exercise on the last day in which  150 arborists assessed the risk of four trees. As a group they came up with twelve different assessments. A paper presented at the seminar discussed eight methods of tree risk assessment. The potential for experts in this field to disagree is very real, and while QTRA may be described as world’s best practice, others may beg to differ.This  is why I and so many others  are so pleased that Newcastle has not been rushed into felling these trees.


A picture says a thousand words. Tyrrell Street



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One Response to “The Community Consultation Process”

  1. peter ireland Says:

    Dear Sirs,
    I would like to ask the council how many public liability claims have been made against NCC for personal injury caused by falling trees or branches?
    a. In Layman st?
    b. In the entire local government area?
    c. In the last 100 years.

    I bet not $400,000.00 worth.

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