Page 2952 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022
part of the cost of planting a tree, something that the Liberals did not understand when they made their $10 per tree announcement in the last election. That did not take into account the watering costs and the care and maintenance as required to make sure the trees can grow and mature so we get the benefits from them.
MR BRADDOCK: What can residents do if they feel that there might have been a plant that has failed to thrive or the incorrect species has been selected?
MR STEEL: A key part of the Urban Forest Strategy is trying to partner with community, because we known that when we partner with community we can make sure we get the support to grow our urban forest. Often those discussions are had, literally, at a street level about what species might be planted in a particular street, where that street, for example, does not already have a designated tree species.
We have been having that conversation with residents. When they are involved in the process and understand what we are trying to achieve in growing the canopy, and we get the support of them, those trees are much more likely to be supported and grow up to thrive in maturity, including with potentially some additional watering in the hotter, summer months. That is certainly a process we are going through at the moment.
It is unlikely that we will remove existing trees in the urban footprint, because we want to support as many trees as we can. Certainly, we will have conversations with the community on an ongoing basis. The big conversation that we had around the Urban Forest Strategy has given us a lot of information to use in the tree planting strategy going forward. We will continue to update our municipal infrastructure standards, the tree species list, going forward based on a range of information that we get from the community and experts.
Of course, we are asking the community to designate spaces in Canberra where they would like to see more trees planted as well. We have already been responding to thousands of those requests and planting trees, and we would like to get a lot more feedback in the future as well.
MS CLAY: Minister, whilst we are measuring survival rates, how do we measure whether a tree thrives or not?
MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. We will see that in the LiDAR data. When trees thrive, the canopy will be greater than if they are not doing well. We can always expect when we are planting new trees that under five per cent will perish when planted. We need to replace those trees if they have perished and make sure there is new plantings there. If the community can alert us to those, that is very helpful—to make sure that we can get in and plant those anew.
We are also engaging with the community on replacement programs. Some trees are coming to the end of their lives, and they are not providing the same benefits that they did earlier in their lives. We are having some of those quite difficult conversations with communities right now about removal of some pin oaks on what were beautiful streets. Unfortunately the trees have aged, they often have disease, and we need to renew the forest by replanting those trees with new plantings, often of the same species, to make sure that we get that renewal of our forest happening. It is an ageing