ACT Budget: $14 million for 54,000 trees

Ian Bushnell 24 September 2021 258
Tree planting

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel planting a tree. Photo: File.

The ACT Government will spend $14 million to plant tens of thousands of new trees across Canberra by 2024.

The 2021 Budget allocation will finance the fifth large tree planting program in Canberra’s history, according to Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel.

All up, 54,000 trees will go into the ground as part of the government’s commitment to achieving the objectives outlined in the Urban Forest Strategy, Canberra’s Living Infrastructure Plan and the ACT Climate Change Strategy, including meeting the target of 30 per cent canopy cover by 2045, he said.

“It will help us to grow our city’s forest to ensure it is sustainable, resilient and contributes to the wellbeing of our community in a changing climate,” he said.

There have been warnings for years about the health of Canberra’s much-loved urban forest, and the Strategy released this year was the government’s response, calling for 450,000 trees to be planted by 2045.

It also marked a shift to more resilient species able to adapt to a dryer, warmer Canberra, and that will influence what kinds of trees will be planted and where.

But that won’t necessarily mean there won’t be any more deciduous streetscapes dressed in Autumn colours, just varieties that will last the distance.


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The Strategy also calls for more community participation and volunteers, and a successful pilot program will mean the government will also fund the popular Adopt-a-Park initiative for another three years.

The program provides grants to community groups so they can get involved with caring for local parks and open spaces.

“This is about empowering volunteers who care for our parks, those who want their suburb to be climate resilient and want their neighbourhoods to receive all of the benefits that trees bring,” said Mr Steel.

“We’ve seen huge interest from locals in being involved in micro forest projects in parks in suburbs across Canberra. Investing in the Adopt-a-Park program means we can partner with even more communities to plant new trees and improve biodiversity in local neighbourhoods across Canberra.”

The Budget will also provide for planning works required to deliver essential upgrades to the government’s Holder Works Depot to accommodate an expanded tree planting and maintenance team and boost the capacity to recycle tree material into sustainable products such as woodchips for parks and playgrounds.

Chief Minister and Minister for Climate Action Andrew Barr said Canberra’s urban trees were one of the things that made the city such a great place to live.

“Planting tens of thousands of new trees now is a legacy that will make Canberra a more attractive, liveable and sustainable city for decades to come,” he said.

“Planting more trees will also help to create and protect local jobs, as part of our plan to grow our jobs market to 250,000 by 2025.”


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258 Responses to ACT Budget: $14 million for 54,000 trees
Patricia Clark Patricia Clark 7:28 pm 29 Sep 21

Hopefully not natives !

Patterson Romi Patterson Romi 6:32 pm 29 Sep 21

2 million for actual Tree .. rest 12 million will be for public service officers for their zoom

Meeting and coffee … we all know. Let’s be real..

Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 2:28 pm 29 Sep 21

With the recent distribution of Floriade flowers, it was up to community groups to apply for flowers. Yarralumla got 3 beds of flowers, Chapman got about 2,000 flowers or so, and some suburbs got none. Time for the ACT Govt to give per population, not per time rich, assertive communities. We all pay rates or rent.

Trevor Senton Trevor Senton 1:19 pm 29 Sep 21

Sometime back the car racing, Birdflying into the lake etc , just a bunch of killjoys LABOR and GREENi's

Trevor Senton Trevor Senton 1:14 pm 29 Sep 21

And where is the MONEY.coming from ',the ACT government is BROKE they will need to borrow money or increase everything AGAIN

Chris Gilmore Chris Gilmore 1:08 pm 29 Sep 21

Look at Theodore there was no thought…..???? throw 3 in our street now when there has been no street parking since created before 1992.The corner of Chippindall CCT and Louis Loder has about 8 full grown dead trees ready to fall on someones head replace them and the rest in Canberra

Geoffrey Hathaway Geoffrey Hathaway 9:38 am 29 Sep 21

International drag way. Sounds good to me

Robert MildlyRisky Agostino Robert MildlyRisky Agostino 8:57 am 29 Sep 21

54,000 more trees to live under when you're priced out of your home!

Stephen Murray Stephen Murray 7:43 am 29 Sep 21

So money grows on trees especially in Canberra.

Tim Adams Tim Adams 7:36 am 29 Sep 21

Self-entitled people and their need to whinge 🤦

Gloria Fardy Gloria Fardy 12:18 am 29 Sep 21

What a disgusting waste of money.

Joe McDowell Joe McDowell 6:43 pm 28 Sep 21

Barr loves wasting taxpayers money.

Leonard Kelton Smith Leonard Kelton Smith 12:13 pm 28 Sep 21

Very good but I hope you will go back and replace any that die. MY local council in NSW boasts about the number of trees they have planted, but in my local area at least 50% have now died and have not been replaced, which I have observed is the norm over the last 30 years.

Betty Geale Betty Geale 11:09 am 28 Sep 21

What do you water them with ....

Patricia Carnegie Patricia Carnegie 11:04 am 28 Sep 21

Canberra has has many trees what about spending this cash on Public houseing and homelessness

Nanna Lola Apted Nanna Lola Apted 8:53 am 28 Sep 21

Who will look after them and keep them tidy. Who will prune them back when they overhang the roads and block drivers vision.

    Julie Skewis Julie Skewis 6:33 pm 29 Sep 21

    Nanna Lola Apted we have had 3 taken out after they were put in right under our power lines. Big gum trees

    Nanna Lola Apted Nanna Lola Apted 6:46 pm 29 Sep 21

    Julie Skewis That would right. Gum trees belong in paddocks not in front yards and nature strips.

Geoff Jones Geoff Jones 8:12 am 28 Sep 21

Money could be spent maintaining public spaces and mowing.

Acton Acton 7:42 am 28 Sep 21

Want more spring flowering and autumn colouring trees in your suburb? Gum trees look best in the bush, deciduous trees provide shade and beauty in the suburbs. Have your say on what to plant in your suburb here : https://yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/trees-act/tree-planting-across-cbr#:~:text=Across%20the%20ACT%2C%2054%2C000%20trees,trees%20are%20ageing%20or%20dying.

Joy Gulliford Joy Gulliford 7:15 am 28 Sep 21

Not more dirty gum trees I hope.

Clare Guthleben Clare Guthleben 10:38 pm 27 Sep 21

All on the one nature strip Arielle Irving

    Arielle Irving Arielle Irving 11:05 pm 27 Sep 21

    Clare Guthleben hahah what a perfect little spot

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