Greener Sydney Plan - is It Enough?


The Office of the NSW Government Architect today released its new Greener Places Draft Policy in a bid to address community concerns about significant losses of urban tree canopy and green spaces, by guaranteeing smarter planning, across Sydney.

“Greener Places is a step in the right direction,” said Mr Jeff Angel, Executive Director Total Environment Centre.

“It recognises the need for green space to mitigate against the increasing social and health costs of urban heat island effect and global warming. It proposes a number of statutory measures that will require local government to meet strategic planning outcomes around green space.

“There is however an elephant in the room,” continued Mr Angel. “The rate we are losing trees across Sydney is alarming, and the state government’s promise to swap existing bushland with replacement trees has already proved inadequate, if not at times laughable. The system services provided by mature trees, including cooling shade, can not be provided by tiny saplings that will take decades to grow.”

The Total Environment Centre is monitoring over 70 sites across Sydney under threat, but Western Sydney is “particularly vulnerable to canopy loss,” said Mr Angel. “With temperatures above 40 degrees becoming the norm, large parts of Sydney will become uninhabitable if nothing is done to cool the city.

“The Environment Minister needs to urgently produce a strategy to minimise the loss of existing bushland,” Mr Angel said.

“Furthermore, we would suggest that the State Government can no longer in good conscience, sponsor large infrastructure projects that remove thousands of trees, against community wishes, as we have seen happen with WestConnex and the Eastern Light Rail,” Mr Angel concluded. “Greener Places had better herald greener planning or Sydney’s economic and cultural clout will be severely diminished.” 

For more info please contact: Jeff Angel ph: 0292115022; Corinne Fisher: 0421831889 

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