CHOICE membership

Unwanted tree workers


In South Frankston these guys periodically knock on the door offering to trim trees, telling you this that and the other needs done. Their price is for cash so unlike me they pay no tax if they can get away with it. Look like South Sea islanders I succumbed once and they left chopped heavy lumps of trees buried under other plants.


It could also be a scam. There have been many reports of such…

The other issue is if they are unlicensed, it is possible they also could have no insurances. If they get injured or cause property damage, I expect that they will blame the land owner.


It wasn’t a scam, they were just looking for tax free work but a damned nuisance - eg 9 am saturday morning. As I said, untidy and sneaky in leaving heavy tree bits hidden under bushes.


No worse than some of the legitimate businesses I’d suggest.


Yep sounds like the same team that are regularly here in Mentone. I used them once because I had seem them working in a neighbours property. I was very nervous watch their ‘arbouist’ working in a tree alongside my pool. No proper safety gear, just wedged himself in the tree… I had to put up quite an argument to get to cut to the height I specified. I won’t use them again although they call back regularly.


AGREE - paid a fortune for proper tree trimmers - damaged garden, mulched pot plants - metal frames and pots included. Used the cowboys once for limited work and was quite happy - after trying a few proper tree loppers have now found a reliable and careful firm


If you aren’t happy with how a service has been performed, remember you can call on the consumer guarantees under Australian Consumer Law:

If you aren’t happy about the tax evasion aspect, I guess you could call the ATO and dob them in!

I don’t know whether it is possible to report people who are working in an unsafe manner if you aren’t connected to the job or company.


Yes you can report unsafe work practices you have witnessed/seen whether you are involved in the workplace or not. Each State, Territory and the Federal Government have a form of Workplace Health and Safety departments with whom you can lodge your report/complaint. If wishing to report an incident be sure to take as many notes and if possible photos of the problem and this includes Registration and Business name details as can be safely ascertained. If it is a Company/Business if you think it is safe for you to do so, inform them of the problem as they may not be aware of the issue if they don’t see it but also inform them, if they are not aggressive that you will lodge a report with the appropriate authority. If they are aggressive then report them without letting them know.

For a list of the various bodies, the Acts and Regulations etc see


Our neighbours occasionally employ tree surgeons to trim a tree that hangs over our house. We end up with a pile of mulch blocking the gutter on that side of the house, and I went on the war-path about it earlier this year.

One of their previous contractors was also extremely ill-mannered when I pointed out where the rubbish was going; fortunately they had problems with that guy as well, and won’t get him back.


Thanks for clarifying this. I have occasionally seen people working unsafely and wondered if I could do anything.

People might think you are being a busybody, but it would be pretty awful if a worker had a serious accident in your neighbourhood. Even if the person doesn’t care about injuring themselves, everyone has family who would have to deal with the repercussions. And even if you are totally hard hearted about it, your taxes would be paying for hospital care, rehab or disability support if they do themselves real damage.