The ACT Greens will create 5000 nest boxes to house local bird and mammal species across Canberra - homes that will be built by detainees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) - and installed within a new network of neighbourhood forests across Canberra.
This announcement forms part of the Greens response to the horrific bushfires over the summer, which led to thousands of birds and mammals seeking sanctuary in Canberra. However, these climate refugees are unable to nest and breed due to a lack of available tree hollows.
The Greens plan creates a city that supports wildlife, by creating ecosystems that are resilient to climate change, trees that provide shade to cool our city and food and habitat to the birds and animals wanting to call Canberra home.
Ahead of the 2020 ACT ‘environment election’, these commitments come as part of the Greens’ Neighbourhood Forest Plan to deliver a 30% urban tree canopy and improve management of Canberra’s urban open spaces to better support ecosystems and create wildlife corridors through our suburbs.
As part of the plan, the Greens will deliver:
- 5000 nest boxes, creating safe homes for local animals and bringing greater biodiversity to our city. These will be built by detainees at the AMC, as part of ongoing efforts to ‘upskill’ detainees as part of their rehabilitation
- A new network of ecologically diverse neighbourhood forests in urban open spaces across Canberra
- Diversifying our urban flora and fauna, including a plan to grow and maintain thousands of new trees while increasing Canberra’s urban tree canopy to 30%
- Changing laws to protect the trees we have and ensuring all new developments establish and care for extensive urban green spaces
- Better protection of mature trees with habitat hollows in appropriate places
- Improved management of our urban open spaces to support more diverse urban flora and fauna, such as insects, birds and reptiles.
Comments attributable to Jo Clay, ACT Greens Environment Spokesperson:
“We are fortunate to live in Canberra, a place with so much ecological diversity and natural beauty.
“But our local environment, and our local species, are under threat like never before, with the impacts of climate change and habitat loss already hitting hard.
‘Birds have been flocking to Canberra from our region, impacted by the summer's horrific bushfires, and coming to escape the drought in recent years - there aren’t enough tree hollows in our landscape now to support them all to nest and raise their chicks.
“We need to protect our remnant mature trees with hollows and stop them being constantly removed for development. We need to change our practices so we support trees to mature. We need to urgently roll out nesting boxes if we want to make a tangible difference to thousands of native animals wanting to call Canberra home.
“The time to act is now. That’s why the Greens have a plan to create a future where our environment, our wildlife and future generations thrive.”
The full details of the package can be found here.