Tree-mendous - Sydney to get five million new trees

Published: 11 Apr 2018

Five million new trees will be planted in Sydney by 2030, making the city a greener and even greater place to live, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced today.

The NSW Government will plant more than 380,000 trees every year until 2030 and give away another 15,000 trees to people who are branching out and building homes in new land release areas in Western Sydney.

It will more than double the tree canopy in Sydney from 16.8 per cent at present to 40 per cent. The trees will all be natives.

“With more people putting down roots in our suburbs, this tremendous initiative will improve everyone’s quality of life and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Sydney is growing, but growth should not come at a cost to the environment or local amenity.”

The announcement is part of the NSW Government’s new $290 million Open Spaces and Greener Sydney package, including $100 million to secure strategic green space, $20 million to build more than 200 new or upgraded playgrounds and $30 million to open up 81 school ovals and playgrounds for public use during school holidays.

The NSW Government is supporting the new ‘Five Million Trees’ initiative with an initial $37.5 million in funding over four years.

Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts said the money would be provided through an annual grants program that will assist tree planting initiatives across Greater Sydney.

“Planting more trees will contribute to the lowering of urban heat in Sydney and improve the environment for pedestrians at street level,” Mr Roberts said.

Commissioner of Open Space and Parklands Fiona Morrison said trees provide many benefits. The Commissioner will help co-ordinate where many of the trees are planted, to ensure a strategic approach.

“Tree canopy coverage contributes to an improvement in biodiversity habitats for species as well as providing much-needed shade for our streets and homes.

“Trees also improve visual amenity, landscape and a ‘sense of place’ in our suburbs,” Ms Morrison said.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the benefits from the new trees would reach beyond the communities where they are planted.

“Planting this many trees across Sydney is equivalent to taking about 355,000 cars off the road each year,” Ms Upton said.

The 15,000 trees being made available in Western Sydney will be given to people who obtain fast track complying development approval in new land release areas.

The complying development standards, which relate to issues such as building height and landscaping, have been tailored to ensure homes are well designed and protect the privacy and amenity of neighbourhoods.

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