City News

Inner West on track to exceed tree planting targets despite new threat to green space

Tree planting

The Inner West is set for a record-breaking number of trees planted. Photo: Fiona Ryan.

By PATRICK MCKENZIE

Inner West Council announced on Wednesday that it is due to surpass its previous record of tree planting in parks and streets under a new program that began in 2020.

More than 3200 trees have been planted so far, with 800 more due to be planted by the end of the year.

“The Inner West’s record investment in tree planting, which has seen thousands of mature trees planted across our suburbs, is a win for the community and the environment,” Labor councillor Chloe Smith said.

Council has budgeted $2 million a year in funding for tree planting in 2022-23 and all future years.

A Tree Management Development Control Plan (DCP), the first step in a comprehensive Master Plan, is due to be published next week. Cr Smith said that the new plan was “the next step in this process” and that council was “firmly committed to increasing our urban tree canopy coverage”. 

Tree planting

Chloe Smith. Photo: Facebook.

The DCP is said to recognise the “multiple benefits” of street trees, including “improved mental health, shade, cooling, reducing pollution and giving our streets a sense of character”. 

Council has been advocating for planting more trees across the LGA for several years, previously releasing a video in support of greater planting efforts under the ‘Liveable Streets’ campaign.

“Trees play an essential role in our urban environment. We need them to make our cities liveable, resilient and healthy places for us to live and work,” council said in a 2017 video.

Tree planting comes after controversial Leichhardt skate park proposal heats up

Council’s tree planting record comes after the chief executive of the NSW government’s Greater Sydney Parklands Trust, Suellen Fitzgerald, threw her support behind a new Leichhardt Park skate facility that has many locals concerned for the future of local trees, canopy cover and open space in the area.

Resident Peter Watts said that trees and parkland are “essential”, and that “too many trees and precious parkland would be lost” to the proposed skate park.

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