Significant trees

Protecting our significant trees

We engaged external consultants to undertake a Moonee Valley-wide survey to identify all local trees of significance and complete the Moonee Valley Significant Tree Register.

The survey and review of the existing register has identified more than 1,500 trees on both public and private property which are of significant value and are therefore proposed to be included in our Significant Tree Register.

We plan to implement a planning scheme amendment to allow new trees (416) to be added to the register, or deleted if they have been removed (via a planning permit) since the last update in 2016.

Amendment C179 would incorporate additional trees with outstanding characteristics into the Environmental Significance Overlay. This means a permit would be required to remove or lop the trees, and for any buildings and works within the Tree Protection Zone which is put in place to protect root structures.

August 2018 update

Exhibition of Amendment C179 closed on Thursday, 2 August. Council Officers are currently reviewing 43 submissions received during the exhibition period.

Should there be issues raised with the proposed amendment that are unable to be resolved, we will refer the submissions for review to a Planning Panel which is independent of Council.

If you have put in a submission we will keep you informed throughout the process.

How can I have my say?

Significant Tree Register

Our draft Significant Tree Register and Amendment C179 are available for comment from Thursday, 28 June to Thursday, 2 August.

We would like to know what you think about the identified trees and the possibility of controls being applied.

Click on the draft Significant Tree Register to view an Individual Tree Report for an identified significant tree. You can use the search tab (top right of the page) to locate a tree by address or Tree Reference Number (e.g T123).

The draft register also contains details of trees which were reviewed for this project and the reasons why some of them were deemed not to be significant.

Amendment C179

You can inspect the amendment, the explanatory report about the amendment and Planning Scheme maps:

Information sessions

One-on-one information sessions are available for you to ask questions about the amendment.

Book yourself into a session online:

A submission may be emailed to trees@mvcc.vic.gov.au or posted to Strategic Planning unit, Moonee Valley City Council, PO Box 126, Moonee Ponds VIC 3039. Alternatively you can call 9243 9140 to speak to a Strategic Planner.

What happens after consultation?

At the end of the consultation period Council officers, with assistance from Homewood (Council’s external consultant), will consider all of the feedback received from the community and make changes to the study and amendment documentation if necessary.

If submissions are received then these may be referred to a panel independent of Council for review. All submitters would have the opportunity to be heard at this panel.

This panel would then provide a recommendation back to Council. Council can then decide whether to adopt the amendment, adopt the amendment with changes or abandon the amendment.

If no submissions are received during the exhibition period then a report will be presented at a Council meeting for a final decision. Council still needs to resolve whether or not to adopt the amendment.

If the draft Significant Tree Register is adopted by Council, we will then send associated Amendment C179 to the Minister for Planning for approval.

Amendment C179 - draft Significant Tree Register Review 2017

June 2018 update

Public consultation commences on the 28 June through to 2 August on the draft Significant Tree Register and associated Amendment C179. We would like to know what the community and affected properties think about the identified trees and the possibility of tree protection controls being applied. 

May 2018 update

In his letter dated 6 May 2018 the Minster for Planning granted authorisation to prepare and exhibit Amendment C179. The amendment proposes to incorporate the findings of the draft Significant Tree Register 2017 by applying the Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 2 (ESO2) to additional trees identified in the draft register.

Exhibition documents are being prepared. Once available for comment, we would like to know what the community and affected properties think about the identified trees and the possibility of tree protection controls being applied.

Updates will be available on this webpage as this process develops.

September 2017 update

At its Ordinary Meeting of Council on 12 September 2017 Council resolved to endorse the draft Significant Tree Register 2017 for the purposes of consultation and to seek authorisation to proceed with exhibiting the draft register and associated Amendment C179 which incorporates its findings into the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme.

Amendment C179 was sent to the Minister for Planning on 18 September 2017 and is pending a decision. If approved exhibition is targeted for early this year for community feedback.

Once available for comment, we would like to know what the community and affected properties think about the identified trees and the possibility of tree protection controls being applied.

Updates will be available on this webpage as this process develops.

Amendment C187 - Interim controls for trees identified within the draft Significant Tree Register 2017

May 2018 update

In his letter dated 6 May 2018 the Minster for Planning granted interim controls until 30 November 2018 on trees identified within the draft Significant Tree Register 2017 allowing time for permanent controls to be considered under Amendment C179.

Interim controls will come into effect when notice of Amendment C187 is published in the Victoria Government Gazette

Background to Significant Trees in Moonee Valley

The Significant Tree Register was originally developed in 2001 as a database of 192 trees and groups of trees.

Although it was informed by both investigations from Council officers and ongoing feedback from the community, the register wasn't formalised in terms of preservation controls or a management framework.

In November 2010, we decided to undertake a comprehensive review to update the original Significant Tree Register. We worked with the community for two years to review the register, and as a result the number of trees, or groups of trees, on the register increased to 203.

To officially implement the recommendations in the review and have formal controls in place to protect significant trees, we undertook a State Government process called a planning scheme amendment.

The Moonee Valley Significant Tree Register Review 2012 was added into the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme through Amendment C130 in December 2013. The amendment documents as approved by the Minister for Planning can be found on the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure website.

 We undertook a further review of significant trees in 2014 which resulted in the addition of 19 tree records to the register. On 27 October 2015, Council resolved to formally adopt the Moonee Valley Significant Tree Register Review 2014. The Significant Tree Register 2014 was added into the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme through Amendment C149 in March 2016. The amendment documents as approved by the Minister for Planning can be found on the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure website.

What is a significant tree?

Trees are classified as 'significant' after being independently assessed against the National Trust Significant Trees criteria, which has 12 categories:

  1. horticultural or genetic value
  2. unique location or context
  3. rare or localised distribution
  4. particularly old specimen
  5. outstanding size
  6. aesthetic value
  7. curious growth habitat
  8. historical significance
  9. connection to Aboriginal culture
  10. outstanding example of species
  11. remnant vegetation
  12. outstanding habitat

Significant trees can be located on both public and private land and can be a singular tree or a group of trees.

What planning controls protect significant trees?

The Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) is the most appropriate tool for protecting the municipality's significant trees.

This is because, under the ESO, a planning permit is required for:

  1. the removal of any tree identified within the register
  2. for any building and works proposed within each tree’s respective tree protection zone (TPZ)

A TPZ is an area surrounding a tree in which development should be managed in order to prevent damage to the tree and its root structure. The TPZ is calculated as 12 x diameter at breast height (trunk diameter at 1.4 metres above ground level).

A TPZ is applied so that Council can assess a proposed development’s impact on the respective tree’s root system which, if damaged, can severely impact on the health of the tree.

TPZs can extend across property boundaries. This means your property could be included in the ESO even if the significant tree is not located on your land. 

For more information please contact our Strategic Planning team on 9243 8888.

Last updated: Sunday, 5 August 2018, 11:05 PM