Not to Cut Trees on Bank

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser

9 October 1803

From the improvident method taken by the first settlers on the sides of the Hawkesbury and creeks, in cutting down timber and cultivating the banks, many acres of ground have been removed, lands inundated, houses, stacks of wheat, and stock, washed away by former floods which might have been prevented in some measure if the trees and other native plants had been suffered to remain; and instead of cutting any down to have planted others to bind the soil of the banks closer; and rendered them less liable to be carried away by every inconsiderable flood; nor is this the only evil:-

The public convenience having suffered by the numerous large trees lying in the stream, and fallen across, rendering water carriage on the creek, almost impracticable, and in some part of the Hawkesbury very dangerous.

As several settlers have been, and are now fixing the lower part of the Hawkesbury, along the Nepean, South Creek, and Georges River, in situations where the above evils may be presented.

It is hereby directed that no settler or other person, to whom ground is granted or leased on the sides of any river or creek where timber is now growing, do on any account cut down, or destroy by barking or otherwise, any tree or shrub growing within two rods of the edge of the bank, except for an opening, one rod wide, to have access to the water.

'Mr. Evans, Acting Surveyor, of lands, is directed to communicate this Ordinance to those lately settled; and to give the Governor a list of those who have not yet cut any timber down in the above situations, that it may be made a Condition in their Grant:

And should they not be sufficiently sensible of the general and individual benefit arising from this necessary regulation, the Magistrates are hereby required to levy a fine of fifty shillings for each tee cut down; the penalty to go to the informer prosecuting to conviction before two Magistrates.

Within the two rods of timber left on the banks, another rod is to be left for a Public-Road along the sides of the river or creek; which three roads are not in future to be measured in the respective allotments it is earnestly recommended to those who already hold Farms by Grant, situated on the side of any river or creek liable to floods, and which have been cleared of Timber, to replant the banks with such binding plants and trees as they can procure.