24 September 2021

ACT Budget: $14 million for 54,000 trees

| Ian Bushnell
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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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Chris Gilmore1:08 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

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.

How much of this funding is actually hidden funding going to the Arboretum to replace trees that die? Pouring good money after bad.

The ACT Greens/Labor Government removes trees to build apartments. Over years it fails to maintain street trees. The urban forest canopy percentage falls across Canberra. Fewer trees mean hotter suburbs and fewer nesting sites for birds. Then this incompetent and wasteful ACT Greens/Labor government realises we actually need trees, so spends $260 per tree in a belated replanting program. Who would pay $260 per tree in their own garden? But the real fools are us for not pruning this deadwood at the election.

Trees are wonderful and I’m all for making things green. However the thing that we need more is public rubbish bins! The ACT has so few bins.

I walked along a footpath behind a townhouse complex today. On both sides of the footpath were gum trees.

The thing that caught my attention was that every one of these properties had north-facing windows; all completely shaded by the gum trees.

The irony is that these residents are having to pay to run a heater all winter, because their homes can’t access the free warmth from their north-facing windows, because of the trees.

My neighbour has recently received a Government street tree, because our area apparently has low tree numbers. It’s a pity that the government didn’t consider whether this tree, in the future, would smother out their existing smaller bushes and scrubs, because it will. Their garden will become a wasteland.

Increasing the tree canopy is pointless, if it’s just an ideological target. There should be a lot more thought given to the potential for negative impacts.

Wouldn’t need such a large budget if the Greens weren’t so keen on ripping out trees for trams

Wow, $260 per tree. Also, this is 18,000 trees a year, so how does this compare to previous years, and do they meet target?

accessdenied9:10 pm 25 Sep 21

Pretty cheap really.
I find that the people that whinge about the cost are the people that expect the labourers to work for $0.00/hr
Trucks to transport the trees. Time to dig the hole. Tools to dig the hole. Periodic checks on the tree. Watering as needed until the roots are bedded in.
$260 is pretty cheap really.
Find a gardener that will source and plant a tree and care for it for 1 year for less than $260/tree

Who expects labourers to work for free? Also, if $260 is cheap, I need to get into game of filling government contracts.

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