Mature Trees Removed at Avenues Shopping Centre

Many local residents were appalled when over 20 healthy mature trees were removed from the Avenues Shopping Centre car park on Boxing Day in 2010. After our Association protested to the Council, this tree removal work was temporarily stopped. However following legal advice, the Council decided that it did not have the power to stop further tree felling on this site, apart from the new owner not being allowed to fell trees defined as “significant” under the Development Act. Throughout 2011 many residents and our Association lobbied Council, State politicians and the Shopping Centre owner to try to save other trees in this car park. Unfortunately Australia Day 2012 saw more large trees being cut down. We held a public protest which was well attended and received considerable publicity. Thank you to everyone who participated in this and contributed to the public effort to save the trees. We think that it is likely that public pressure did save some trees. However it was distressing to many residents to see huge 120 year old Pepper trees, which once grew at the back of the Avenues Hotel, being removed. Many birds and possums nested in these trees and they provided an important historic focus to the locality as well as wonderful summer shade for parked cars. The State government has recently passed weakened tree protection legislation and a long list of trees receives no protection no matter how big or historic they are. Pepper trees are on this list. At the Avenues Shopping Centre car park protest, our Association drew attention to public concerns about the undermining of tree protection laws in SA.