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February 03rd 2011 print

Big Green bullies

SMH: “The mayor of Randwick, Murray Matson, a Green, applauded the hardline stance taken by the court, which he said would make others think twice in the future about damaging public trees.”

A glimpse into the mad Green world in Australia:

An unkind cut that led to a record fine

by Josephine Tovey

IT WAS a DIY repair-job gone wrong that has now cost a Sydney man $19,000.

Peter Petrou, 43, was digging outside the house he shares with his parents and children in Randwick on July 31 last year, searching for a leaking pipe that was causing water to gush over his front steps and footpath, when he cut into what he described as a ”fat root” belonging to an old native brush box tree.

Although the cut did not kill the tree, it had to be removed, the council said, for safety reasons. Mr Petrou was ordered to pay $19,000 by Waverley Local Court for breaching a tree preservation order, thought to be the largest penalty of its kind ever issued in the local government area.

The mayor of Randwick, Murray Matson, a Green, applauded the hardline stance taken by the court, which he said would make others think twice in the future about damaging public trees.

"The presiding judge on the case, Justice Milledge, described the actions of the person as disgraceful, and I entirely agree,” he said in a statement. ”Trees not only beautify otherwise stark urban streets, but they offset carbon emissions, provide shade and attract native wildlife.”

The fine is believed to be the largest of its kind ever issued in the Randwick local government area, a council spokesman said.

Mr Petrou’s solicitor, Tim Mitchell, said the punishment was a ”denial of natural justice”.

”There was no malicious intent whatsoever,” he said. 

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

 

UPDATE: 

Tim Blair makes a suggestion, and his readers propose a legal appeal:

Actually, it might make others think twice about electing insane Greens. Over to readers: should we organise a little online fundraiser to help with Mr Petrou’s penalty?

The discussion, at Tim Blair’s Blog, is here…