The Urban Forest Strategy released today by the ACT Government delivers the ACT Greens’ commitment for a comprehensive plan to cover 30% of Canberra’s urban areas with trees.
“A tree canopy over 30% of urban Canberra will cool our suburbs, create an urban biodiversity sanctuary and enhance the bush capital values that Canberrans and visitors love,” said Andrew Braddock MLA, Greens spokesperson for Better Neighbourhoods.
“Now that the Government strategy is out, we need to ensure the budget is allocated, the programs are implemented and communities continue to be consulted.”
Tomorrow in the ACT Legislative Assembly, Mr Braddock will call on the ACT Government to commit to annual progress updates, to report on the tree canopy percentage in every suburb in Canberra, and support the community to participate in achieving the tree canopy target.
“The reality is that some suburbs need more urgent attention than others. Indeed, 16 suburbs in Canberra have less than 10% tree canopy cover, and half of those are in my Gungahlin electorate of Yerrabi,” Mr Braddock said.
The Parliamentary and Governing Agreement commits to changing the Tree Protection Act in this term of government, and updating our planning system to protect mature trees and ensure new developments make room for trees..
“A target and a glossy strategy alone won’t achieve this. Canberrans who care about tree coverage are relying on the Greens to hold the government to account and push the other reforms that are needed. That’s what we’ll be doing,” Mr Braddock said.
- In 2017 Caroline Le Couteur pushed a Motion through the Assembly calling for a review of the Tree Protection Act, Territory Plan and Government Infrastructure Standards to ‘make room for trees’ in development and to get better protection for existing trees.
- In 2019, Shane Rattenbury, then Minister for Climate Change, set the 30% tree canopy target for urban areas.
- The Greens’ election commitments on neighbourhood forests are detailed here: https://greens.org.au/act/neighbourhood-forests