Assessing The Need For A Legal Arboricultural Expert In NSW

The laws and regulations that preserve vegetation from damage and removal differ significantly throughout Australia’s states and territories. What they have in common is that they are all issued by state and territory legislatures as Acts of Parliament (and Regulations).

The Australian Standard AS4970-2009: Protection of Trees on Development Sites serves as the foundation for all legislation relating to the protection of vegetation and the preservation of sustainable urban forestry. 

Level 5 Arborist consultants can offer expert legal advice, assessment and reporting per New South Wales state and local city guidelines, which all require proper risk and asset management systems. 

Appraisal Of The Australian Standard AS4970-2009 

Prior to 2009, there was very little consistency in the laws pertaining to managing trees on urban, commercial and government development sites, which put the health of urban forests and human safety at risk. It left no standardisation over measurements of tree protection zones, leaving less focus on the actual protection and preservation of urban forests and more emphasis on developing standards on which to base planning procedures. 

The Standard has received widespread stakeholder support. Engineers and planners have embraced it because it gives clarity and a framework for resolving disputes in courts and before administrative tribunals.  

Shifting The Focus To The Standardized And Collective Preservation Of Australia’s Urban Forests 

The Standard is truly beneficial for Arboriculture because it has standardised practice and virtually eliminated any disputes over measurements and tree protection zones, and shifting the focus towards the collective preservation of Australia’s vegetation in harmony with its infrastructure. 

Furthermore, it views trees as assets worth managing and protecting. This offers consistency with regard to the funding arrangements for local authorities.  

The Need For A Legal Arboricultural Expert 

Consenting authorities and legal organisations require specific degrees of credentials and expertise. According to the Australian Standard AS4970-2009: Protection of Trees on Development Sites, anybody writing a report or conducting arboricultural supervision must have at least an AQF Level 5 in Arboriculture. 

This Standard is intended as a guideline for Arborists to assist and advise government departments, building contractors and others involved with private, commercial and governmental development projects.  

The ultimate goal is the establishment of planning procedures within local and state governments, including the relevant guidelines of the Australian Standard.  

In New South Whales, before undertaking any urban, commercial or governmental development projects, the qualifications and legal expertise of an Arborist are required in order to supervise and draft Arborist Reports and Impact Assessments using the Australian Standard AS4970-2009 Protection of trees on development sites as a point of reference. 

Looking For A Legal Arboricultural Expert In New South Wales? 

Arboriculture is a synthesis of the practical, legal and academic, where experience strengthens the calibre and quality of advice a consultant can provide. 

As authors of various government policies and recommendations affecting our industry, Treescience possesses senior-level arboricultural specialist experience and can aid with a broad range of arboricultural and legal matters. Additionally, given our university education and practical expertise, each member of our team exceeds the mandatory requirement as AQF Level 5 consultants as per the standards set by AS4970-2009. 

Since the early 1990s, Treescience has provided expert witness testimony on several occasions at different court levels in relation to arboriculture issues in the state of New South Wales. We offer over 35 years combined experience delivering consulting services to commercial, residential and government clients across Australia. For a wide scope of Arboricultural Services, get in touch with us today.