Neighbourhood Tree Disputes: Consultation Paper



A common law self-help remedy that allows affected neighbours to remove parts of a tree that encroach onto their land up to their boundary line.

Affected neighbour

The person whose land (or use of the land) is affected by the neighbour’s tree; usually the plaintiff (aggrieved party) in court proceedings.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Any formal process, other than court or tribunal proceedings, in which an impartial person assists parties to resolve their disputes.


A qualified professional trained in cultivating, caring for, and maintaining trees.

Cause of action

The facts that give rise to a legal claim and entitle a person to take someone to court.

Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (DSCV)

Government-funded provider of free dispute settlement services to the Victorian community.


When a tree (or parts of a tree) on the tree owner’s land crosses over boundary lines and enters the affected neighbour’s land.


The authority of a court or tribunal to hear cases brought

before it.

Local laws

Laws passed by local councils to protect public health, safety and amenity. Tree protection laws are an example of local laws.


A method of dispute resolution that involves bringing parties together to discuss a dispute and reach an agreement.

New South Wales Land and Environment Court (NSWLEC)

In New South Wales, the court that hears neighbourhood tree disputes.

Online dispute resolution (ODR)

A range of technology-assisted methods for resolving disputes.

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)

In Queensland, the tribunal that hears neighbourhood tree disputes.

Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (RMPAT)

In Tasmania, the tribunal that hears neighbourhood tree disputes.


The right to bring proceedings before a court. To have standing in a case a person must be able to show that they have sufficient interest in the case because, for example, of possible effects on their property or activities.

Statutory scheme

A scheme based on specific legislation passed by Parliament, rather than on the common law.


A civil wrong, and type of cause of action. Nuisance, negligence and trespass to land are types of torts.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

In Victoria, the tribunal that hears civil and administrative claims.

Victoria Planning Provisions (VPPs)

A set of standard planning provisions that may be incorporated into local planning schemes.