West Tamar Council has sought legal advice and is investigating whether illegal clearing of melaleuca trees occurred on council-owned property.
Beauty Point resident Ros Holgate fronted the council meeting on Tuesday to demand answers from her allegation that her neighbour Graeme Hay has been illegally clearing melaleuca trees.
Mrs Holgate claimed during public question time that Mr Hay had been clearing the trees from land at Kemps Parade, Beauty Point.
West Tamar Council general manager Rolph Vos confirmed the council was investigating the incident and he had sought legal advice on Monday about potential penalties.
Mr Vos said the council had mistakenly believed the land in question at Kemps Road was owned by Crown Land but had been advised recently that it was, in fact, council land.
“We are investigating and have sought legal advice yesterday [Monday] to rectify what has happened,” Mr Vos said.
“Will be following up that investigation to discuss what has happened.”
Mrs Holgate said the residents of Kemps Road were a small, close-knit community.
“We know each other and what each other are up to,” Mrs Holgate told the council.
She claimed Mr Hay, who is her neighbour, began clearing the trees without approval.
“It is a landslip area, and there’s a lot of erosion there,” she said.
“We want answers - has he [Mr Hay] got approval to clear the trees, and, if not, what can you do about it?”
Mr Hay, who as also present at the meeting denied cutting down the trees on land that is adjacent to his property.
Mayor Christina Holmdahl said the investigation was active and the council was working on the recent information it had received from residents.
Tasmania has six native species of melaleuca trees, and all are threatened species.
The council meeting was held at Beaconsfield on Tuesday, January 15.
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