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Add my name: Save UNE habitat trees

Friday, 16 Feb
5:00 pm

This statement of concern was drafted by 30 members of the UNE community at a recent meeting to discuss habitat tree removal on the UNE campus. If you care about native wildlife and the beauty of the UNE campus, please add your name to this statement. This statement will be delivered to the Chief Operating Officer and the UNE Vice-Chancellor on Friday 16th February, with a request for formal response to our concerns.

Campaign statement

Concerned staff and students and community members, acting in accordance with their stated responsibilities under Clause 3.(7).b UNE Environment and Sustainability Policy, have recently taken action to effect a temporary halt on the destruction of habitat trees at UNE.

Approximately 70 irreplaceable habitat trees were cut down and fed into the chipper in January 2018 before the University responded to our concerns and announced a temporary halt. 

A Freedom of Information request has revealed a further 398 trees are listed for removal in the near future, of which 125 are native species likely to include important habitat for campus wildlife such as koalas, sugar gliders, parrots and other birds.

We call for UNE to abide by the Principles of the UNE Environment and Sustainability Policy to encourage environmental best practice by adopting a habitat retention and enhancement approach to landscape management on the campus.

Safety of staff and students should be a priority but there are viable alternatives to tree removal such as exclusion zones, conservation areas and landscape management which we do not believe are being seriously considered by UNE management.

In the short term, we call upon UNE management to conduct a transparent process:

  1. for selecting the members of the proposed Landscape Consultative Committee; and
  2. for determining the scope of this Committee to protect existing habitat on campus.
  3. We also demand that UNE management meet the commitment made at item 4(15) of the UNE Environment and Sustainability Policy to establish an Environmental Management Program. This Program must include a Landscape Management Plan with a vision to retain existing assets such as remnant vegetation and wildlife, and to further enhance these assets for future generations.

We formally request a response on these 3 items from UNE management, as a sign of commitment to avoid any further conflict over planned tree removal on campus.

Sincerely

Signing this document has closed.

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3 comments to Add my name: Save UNE habitat trees

  • Bruce Hargreaves

    As a resident of Armidale and a Horticulturist of 20 years, I see this process of transparency and community consultation as imperative.

    Given the dramatic losses in habitats due to mining and development in Australia, it’s absolutely essential that the University set an example by getting this right.

  • Why remove a precious resource that attracts wildlife to the campus especially in the age of climate change? Planning maintaining and enhancing habits is best for both students and critters that brings life to a problematic human this centred controlled world. Sustainability is not the only thing to consider in this matter.

  • Please do not destroy the trees that help make UNE the uniquely beautiful campus that it is.