Publication Details

Kelly, A. H. (2013). Tree preservation orders: a new vision?. In S. Kajewski, K. Manley and K. Hampson (Eds.), Proceedings Of The 19th Cib World Building Congress, Brisbane 2013: Construction And Society (pp. 1-11). Australia: Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

Link to publisher version (URL)

WBC 13

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9780987554208 - These are the Proceedings of the 19th Triennial CIB World Building Congress, 5th – 9th May, 2013, which was organised by the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), and hosted by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in conjunction with the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBENRC). The theme of this year’s Congress was ‘Construction and Society’, and it showcased some of the world’s best research and development in the built environment and construction sectors, focusing in particular on how research helps to optimise the contribution of constructed assets to social objectives. The Congress captured research from a global network of over 5000 CIB members and more than 50 CIB Working Commissions and Task Groups. In celebration of the CIB’s 60th anniversary, this Congress underscored the CIB’s continuing role as a world leader in innovative building and construction research.A broad range of papers was presented in oral and poster format, with representation from both academics and practitioners across a range of sub-themes, including but not limited to: sustainability, law, procurement, regulation, economics, marketing, management, IT, health, education, safety, planning, culture, clients, disasters, and performance, within a range of contexts. Submitted papers were subject to blind peer review.


The purpose of this paper is to explore the history of tree preservations orders (TPOs) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, commencing with early British legislation leading to a standard set of clauses set down by the NSW State Government. Until recently, TPOs provided a perfect example of slavishly following the British approach. The relevant sphere here is local government. The paper examines the original emphasis on the notion of amenity, which still prevails. It then moves on to opportunities for local government to embrace biodiversity conservation. It will be argued that the current statutory instrument that lays down the TPO provisions that councils must adhere to, demands revision. If the TPO is to serve as a worthwhile tool amongst a suite of conservation mechanisms, significant change to statutory instruments and policy is required.