PREMIER RESPONDS TO SYDNEY’S LIVEABILITY CRISIS - KEY TESTS
The NSW Premier has announced a new green spaces policy today including new funding, with future programs in the wings. The policy is being interpreted as a response to Sydney’s “liveability” crisis by TEC and dozens of community groups that have been campaigning for a halt to the decimation of thousands of trees and many parks in recent years.
“It’s good to see the serious problem of green spaces in Sydney being acknowledged,” said TEC Executive Director Jeff Angel, “but we await the full program before passing final judgment and assurances on legal protections and ongoing funding.”
Mr Angel said it is critical that the Berejiklian government stops the loss of existing mature trees and green spaces for development and infrastructure.
“Thousands of trees the city needs are already gone and over 80 parks are under threat - it doesn’t cost money to keep our existing green space assets, but it does cost money to lose them.'
TEC has identified key issues which will test the new policy, foremost being where the money is spent, new parks and tree planting and if it is accompanied by commitments for ongoing funding and legislation that stops the new areas and investment being torn down by future developments.
“These green areas and tree canopy are essential to our city's social, environmental and economic health. As our backyards disappear, parks become more important.
Protecting them is not negotiable.”
Mr Angel said the government must reassure the electorate that it will protect existing parks, bushland and urban trees, commit to combatting the urban heat crisis, and provide easily accessible spaces.