“Who owns that tree?” Hinterland Community’s post-storm clean up uncertainty

Beerwah residents have told State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle that they are still trying to make sense of who is responsible for trees along a creek on the edge of their property which were damaged in a severe storm that impacted the Hinterland in December of last year.  

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It comes as Lorelle Gottardi last week showed Mr McArdle the area where a number of trees came down on her parent’s property in Beerwah last year. However, doubt remains over who is responsible for one damaged tree that threatens to reach their home if impacted by another storm.  

“The SES Volunteers and the council arborist who came out to my parent’s property did an amazing job assisting with the removal of the trees that fell during the storm. We are immensely thankful for their efforts.” Ms Gottardi said.

“However, my parent’s property has a Council-controlled creek which runs along the property line and there is one very large gum tree on the bank of the creek that is leaning toward the house.”

“Council have made it clear that the tree is our responsibility to remove but that just doesn’t seem right given that they generally manage the creek and its vegetation.” Ms Gottardi

Mr McArdle said that a review needs to take place into how the Council and State Government Departments assess trees that pose a potential risk pre and post a major storm. 

 Trees removed from Ms Gottardi's parents home in Beerwah, December of last year. 

Trees removed from Ms Gottardi's parents home in Beerwah, December of last year. 

“The circumstances of Ms Gottardi’s parents is one that I hear time and time again. A storm has occurred and a number of trees have been compromised. However no one wants to take responsibility for the trees that are potentially weakened or down, leaving the home owner at the mercy of the next weather event.” Mr McArdle said. 

“I have written to the Council and the Department of Natural Resources asking for some clarification as to who controls the creek running through this residential property but I have my doubts that anyone will want claim responsibility for the tree.” 

“What happens when the next storm comes through - will these trees fall on house or cause flooding when they land in the creek? We must ensure there is better support for home owners when it comes to taking risky trees down.” Mr McArdle said.  

“We live in a region where storm damage is frequent. While we can’t predict the actual damage a storm will inflict, we can help ensure that residents feel safe from trees on State or Council land, and better support them in the aftermath of a storm.” Mr McArdle concluded.