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The City of Canterbury Bankstown will investigate its legal options, over the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) decision to remove critically endangered ecological trees at Wiley Park.
The decision was unanimously supported at last night’s Council meeting, after new information was received that some of the trees are of Aboriginal significance.
If the claims are proven and the trees are removed, the NSW Government may be prosecuted by the Land and Environment Court, for "…knowingly causing harm to an Aboriginal object", in breach of the National Parks and Wildlife Act, which holds a penalty of $1,100,000.
Last year, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) claimed almost half of Stevens Reserve in Bankstown (200 square metres) for road widening. Just weeks later, it also decided to cut down 22 trees for a similar project, at the intersection of Canterbury Road and King Georges Road, Wiley Park.
Mayor Khal Asfour said this was despite Council providing alternatives.
"I find it amazing that in one breath, the Government wants to introduce a new Minister for Open Space, and in the next wants to take away open space and critically endangered ecological trees," he said.
"The belligerence of RMS forced us to launch a public shame campaign on social media and in the local media, and the response was overwhelming.
"The support from the Torch, Express, local residents and even visitors to our City was amazing."
Mayor Asfour said one of Council’s priorities continues to be protecting green space.
"More than 10,000 residents told us in surveys, they want to see a clean and green CBCity by 2028," he said.
"We are currently developing a new city-wide Local Environmental Plan (LEP) for Canterbury-Bankstown. This will include determining where new parks are required, guided by our recently approved Playground and Open Space Strategy.
29/05/2019 4:03 PM