Family wants trees near pool removed

Jo watches as her kids Hudson and Riley play near the pool, but they say street trees planted too close to the fence around the pool could be scaled by youngsters and they want them removed.

A MT PLEASANT family is at loggerheads with Melville council over two trees they want removed from their verge, saying they are so close to the fenceline, children could climb over and fall into their pool.

Ash and Jo, who only wanted to be identified by their first names, are also concerned the root system of one tree is damaging the front yard pool.

Ash said the Queensland box and melaleuca trees had been planted on St Michael Terrace by a previous home owner in a garden bed just 30cm from his front fence.

A landscaper by trade, he says the rest of the street has large jacarandas planted on the verge by council, and the two trees are an anomaly. He has no problem with the jacaranda on his own verge, which is midway between the road and the fence.

Ash says he raised the issue late last year with council, but the trees haven’t been removed yet.

Deputy mayor Thomas Fitzgerald suggested the couple relocate their fence instead, with council officers claiming the trees predate the pool.

However, Ash says moving the fence would be expensive and place it so close to the pool it would have to be moved or partially filled.

Given the property prices in Mt Pleasant, they would also lose a valuable sliver of land.

Melville councillor Clive Ross has been helping the couple, tabling a motion at the April council meeting to immediately remove the trees. 

However, his motion was narrowly defeated with council staff arguing that removing the trees “would create a precedent that would result in many more trees being removed”. Staff have also knocked the removal request back on the basis the melaleuca has indigenous heritage value and the trees would be to hard for children under 6 to climb – which Ash rejects.

He claims the council had contacted their neighbours and found there was no opposition to removing the trees but then ignored the result.

The couple also allege that council attempted to “bully” them into submission – their pool passed a safety inspection in November, but shortly after complaints were made about the trees, they got a letter from the council saying it was no longer compliant.

by CALLUM LIDDELOW

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