While the NSW government’s 5 million tree plan for Sydney is a step in the right direction – it won’t achieve its 40% canopy target unless existing trees on private and public land are protected, Total Environment Centre said today.

“Thousands of mature trees have been felled under the government’s watch and more are under the chainsaw - it has to stop. This requires new protection laws – a few young saplings are no compensation,” said Jeff Angel Director of the Centre.   

“It’s also apparent that the proposed funding does not allow for ongoing maintenance.  Inevitably there is significant loss of new plantings – up to 50% - so you can’t just walk away once they are in the ground with a media release.”

“Bad infrastructure planning such as the south east light rail route that led to the loss of centuries old figs that have cooled the environment and been loved by the community for decades, must take some of the blame.  What is the government doing to reform their development decisions?”  

Mr Angel said the government must reassure the electorate that it will protect existing parks, bushland and urban trees.

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