BY BELLA MIDDLETON 

A community petition has been launched through State Parliament against the tree pruning being undertaken by Ausgrid around powerlines across Newcastle. 

The energy utility has a history of severe cutbacks of street trees, removing majority of the leafy growth and cutting holes in the trees canopy for powerlines to pass. 

The petition calls for the State Government to direct Ausgrid to review their pruning policies, investigate the installation of aerial bundled cables, and engage and consult with the local community regarding pruning expectations. 

State Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp has endorsed the petition for listing in the Parliament.

“Not only does the pruning often look unsightly, we also lose the urban cooling benefits street trees provide and the risk of tree failure increases,” said MP Crakanthorp.

“The current pruning practices under powerlines are not meeting the community’s or my expectations.”

“This can be done so much better, and the NSW Government needs to step up to make this happen.” 

Petitioner Matthew Mooney said that energy companies such as Ausgrid need to show they have an environmental and social conscience. 

“There’s a climate change conversation happening at every dinner table around the country, yet we’ve got energy companies tearing down our suburban forest,” said Mr. Mooney.

“When people see that the place they call home has had their trees vandalized in this way, it’s an emotional thing.”

The petition can be found State Parliament’s website and will be open for three months. 

Picture credit: Ausgrid