The Nationals Member for Lowan, Hugh Delahunty has expressed his support for community members alarmed about the harsh pruning of street trees by Powercor in main streets and townships across the electorate of Lowan.
“I am very concerned about the devastating impact pruning is having on the streetscapes and appeal of our rural townships,” Mr Delahunty said.
“I have been attempting to work through the electricity regulator Energy Safe Victoria, Powercor officials and Ministerial channels to improve the situation, but while these discussions are ongoing, trees continue to be scalped. It is simply not good enough.”
The Government has in place a code of practice for tree pruning that is centred on safety, amenity and managing risk, including fire risk. This code of practice, which is not new, includes a requirement that those responsible for tree pruning to seek to minimise the impact of pruning on trees of cultural or environmental significance.
“However, the pruning protocol being undertaken by Powercor fails the test of balancing community values with risk,” said Mr Delahunty.
“Powercor’s consultation is not good enough with the community and the Councils, and their communication strategy is equally poor in informing the community of decisions made.
I would encourage Powercor to consider its responsibilities to the community, and work positively with councils to achieve a more respectful outcome for the streetscapes of our rural towns.”