The Greens would like to thank the NSW Planning Minister for adopting a significant part of our policy to increase the amount of tree canopy across Sydney.
The policy is strong on planting more trees in the future but misses the most important change needed, a commitment from the government to stop chopping down trees in the first place.
Greens NSW MP and Planning spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“The Greens have been calling for binding tree canopy targets since 2016.
“When we introduced a Bill to Parliament to set targets just three months ago the Liberal government yelled it down, so we congratulate them on their change of heart.
“We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind the Planning Minister that the best way to ensure dense tree canopy is to not chop down trees.
“The Liberal’s policy is a step forward with the government finally recognising that more trees mean a healthier, happier and more prosperous city.
“However a major flaw in the policy is that it talks about “delivering” new trees as though they are able to be dropped in by an Amazon drone.
“Trees take significant time to grow and mature and the single biggest step this government can take to protect our tree canopy is to stop cutting trees down.
“Today’s announcement didn’t just happen, the community across NSW has been appalled by the government’s war on trees and the work of advocacy groups such a as the Total Environment Centre have highlighted the need for policy changes.
“We look forward to all other parties joining with the Greens when Parliament returns and passing our Preservation of Trees and Public Open Space Bill to make this policy law.
“We hope the targets are spread equally across the city, urban forests and greenspace should be a part every neighbourhood no matter where they are in Sydney,” Mr Shoebridge said.