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7am Wed Dec 1st Congo Meeting to Protest Council's Actions

On Monday local residents gathered to question the legality of Council's proposals to remove ten trees from the gravel section of Congo Rd Nth, in front of the sand quarry. The trees are located on private land adjacent to what Council is declaring to be a public road by common law definition. By such a declaration (obtained on legal advice) Council have decreed that they have mandate to remove trees that they consider pose a risk to Council and to the private landowner. Schedule 88 of the Road Act, that Council cites only allows Council to remove or lop trees ON or OVERHANGING a road and not beside. As can be seen in the photo below this tree is not ON the road and is barely overhanging the road.

Above: these trees are located in the exact same position they have lived for over forty years but Council staff have, using a questionable risk assessment template, determined that the trees present HIGH risk and must be removed immediately. Note that it is a 40kph zone and that the only occurrence of a tree presenting a risk to drivers was when one jumped out in front of less than sober miscreant. A spokesperson for a strong contingent of well informed Congo residents told The Beagle "As a consequence of our protest against the tree removal on Monday morning we received a 48 hr stay of work, which will expire tomorrow AM." "Another consequence: the land holder has now barricaded the road and says it's permanent. ESC claim it's a public road and they can remove trees on or overhanging a public road. If it's a public road how can the land holder close it?" "Council is currently in caretaker mode, leading up to Council elections this Saturday. "The tree removal should not take place while there is so much confusion about the status of the road and the longer term resolution of an issue that's gone on for decades. "Today at 4pm we have a meeting with Council's General Manager. "Tomorrow at 7am the community is gathering in the playground at Congo on Congo Rd for an update. The Congo community is invited."

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