This is a first for Glen Eira Debates in that for this particular post we only feature the final summation by Lipshutz on the tree register issue – the report on the full ‘debate’ will ensue. We simply ask readers to contemplate the following words and to pass their own judgement.

LIPSHUTZ: Said that on Heritage ‘how many times has it come back to council because we don’t necessarily agree with the Heritage advisor?’ This is like ‘someone coming along and saying that tree is significant’. Then someone will appeal that decision and then it will be ‘red tape and a bureaucratic issue’. Whether something is a significant tree ‘is in the eyes of the beholder’. As an analogy Lipshutz said that clients going to court are told ‘to settle because it is in your control’. When the judge decides ‘you’re gambling’ as to the decision. ‘This is exactly the same thing here’. People ‘gamble on somebody saying this is not a significant tree’. Stated that those claiming that a tree is significant won’t be the owner of the tree but a neighbour. ‘It’s a matter of property rights’. Agreed that ‘trees do add a great deal to the community’. Hyams has spoken about asking the community what they think on the issue but that’s a ‘very cute argument because we all know’ that when you ‘consult with people that ‘the vast majority’ ‘don’t give their view’ and it’s only those people ‘who have a strong view about the issue’. Those who give their view are the voters and it’s those people who ‘will in fact say yes or no’. Going to community consultation means that ‘you will get’ the views of ‘activists and who have strong views’ and the ‘vast silent majority don’t care’. And ‘they don’t care’ because they are ‘satisfied’ about the ‘way council operates’.

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