Tens of thousands of new trees will be planted across Canberra by 2024 through a $14 million investment in the upcoming ACT Budget.
“Canberra’s urban trees are one of the things that makes our 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,” said Chief Minister and Minister for Climate Action Andrew Barr.
“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.”
Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said that this investment in new tree planting will support one of the largest plantings in Canberra’s history.
“This substantial investment is the fifth large tree planting in Canberra’s history. 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.
“We want all Canberrans to enjoy the benefits of streets and parks lined with healthy trees and this investment will secure 54,000 additional trees by 2024.”
To boost this planting effort, the ACT Government will also fund the popular Adopt-a-Park initiative for another three years, following a successful pilot program. 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 Minister 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.
“This significant ramp up in tree planting puts us on track to meet our commitment of boosting canopy cover to 30 per cent by 2045.”
The budget will also provide for planning works required to deliver essential upgrades to the ACT Government’s Holder Works depot to accommodate an expanded tree planting and maintenance team, and boost capacity to recycle tree material into sustainable products like woodchips for parks and playgrounds.
“This major new investment is part of our commitment to achieving the objectives outlined in the Urban Forest Strategy, Canberra’s Living Infrastructure Plan and the ACT Climate Change Strategy,” said Minister Steel.