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The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) will determine the risks of keeping aged and damaged trees on the former golf course site in Dingley Village. A hearing has been scheduled from 30 August to 2 September 2022.

AustralianSuper has appealed against a recent Kingston Council decision to reject a number of applications to remove trees considered dangerous to people or neighbouring property. In order to have the trees considered individually, it has been necessary to lodge 21 separate applications. If grouped together, a decision about a single tree might impact the future of all others.

Acting on risk-assessment advice from independent arborist Homewood Consulting, AustralianSuper last year applied to Kingston Council to remove trees considered damaged, aged and potentially dangerous.

Council officers conducted their own assessment of the trees and agreed with the Homewood recommendations for many of the trees concerned. The officers recommended to Council that some of these trees should be removed. However, at Council’s Planning Committee meeting on 23 February 2022, all applications for tree removal were refused.

Advice to AustralianSuper is that the trees are in such condition that they pose a risk and may fail to satisfy the owner’s obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The Homewood Consulting reports and the recommendations by Kingston Council’s Senior Vegetation Management Officer can be found in the February agenda of the Council Planning Committee here, Item 4.4.