Monash council votes to change VPO

MONASH council last night voted to amend the controversial vegetation protection overlay (VPO) that could allow locals to clear their yards of unwanted trees which were saved by the scheme.

During a marathon debate, the council voted to amend the VPO which would allow locals to remove trees without a planning permit. 

Monash council will now take the motion to Planning Minister Matthew Guy to authorise preparing the amendment. If he approves, it will be placed on public exhibition.

Cr Geoff Lake, who initiated the move, described the current VPO scheme as ‘‘cumbersome and bureaucratic’’ and called for change.

‘‘I believe that this is unfinished business,’’ he said.

He was supported by mayor Micaela Drieberg, Paul Klisaris, Robert Davies and newcomers Katrina Nolan and Bill Pontikis. 

Under the proposed amendment, residents can rid their gardens of dead, dying or dangerous trees without any referral to the council. Healthy trees that are removed will have to be replaced with two new trees that will one day contribute to the city’s green image. 

Read more how the council’s decision will affect you in Monday’s edition of the Monash Weekly.

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