TALL TIMBER: Fairney view resident Brad Millie said Somerset Regional Council ordered a contractor to cut down a perfectly healthy ironbark tree.
TALL TIMBER: Fairney view resident Brad Millie said Somerset Regional Council ordered a contractor to cut down a perfectly healthy ironbark tree. Andrew Korner

Ironbark tree chopping has Fernvale breeders barking mad

CORGI breeders Brad and Judy Millie are acutely aware of the damage caused by the recent storms that ripped through the Fernvale area.

The couple's home on Theuerkauf's Rd, Fairney View was badly battered by the hail and high-speed wind, causing extensive damage to their roof, fences and several trees.

Despite the mayhem, there was a massive old ironbark tree in front of their property that they claim came away unscathed.

The Millies are now furious after Somerset Regional Council ordered the tree to be cut down, following fears that it could pose a serious safety risk.

Mrs Millie said a 20m-high ironbark was among about half a dozen that council ordered a contractor to remove on Tuesday.

"The trees acted as a natural barrier for our dog kennels," Mrs Millie said.

"The large tree had been hit by lightning last year, but it had been checked and they told us it was perfectly healthy."

Mrs Millie said she tried to protest the tree's removal with the contractor, but was told that the decision was not negotiable. She also made calls to council but had not heard back.

Somerset Region Mayor Graeme Lehmann yesterday confirmed that an arborist's report had sealed the fate of the old ironbark.

Council oversaw an inspection of several vulnerable trees following the big storms on October 27.

"There were a fair few trees damaged in the storm," Cr Lehmann said.

"We are going to ask for a written report so we've got all the facts there."

Mr Millie said that if council had simply notified him of the decision to remove the tree, something could have been worked out.

"This was a very old tree - part of the Brigalow scrub," he said.

But Cr Lehmann said another important factor in the decision was that the tree was on a council road reserve.

"That makes it council's responsibility," he said.

"If we have a report that says the tree should come down, then it falls onto someone, that's where liability comes into the equation."


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