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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3221 ..


long-established but end-of-life trees are progressively and strategically removed and replaced. But I am confident that the range of complementary education and engagement strategies in the Urban Forest Strategy will succeed in ensuring that Canberrans understand and support this requirement.

As part of the Urban Forest Strategy, we also committed to review the Tree Protection Act to ensure that trees on private land have the right protections and that there are mechanisms to replace trees when these need to be removed at the end of life or to facilitate approved development. Trees on private land provide around half of Canberra’s overall canopy cover and will therefore play an important role in achieving our 30 per cent canopy cover target.

I will have more to update the Assembly on in the new year in relation to this commitment, but work is well advanced and ACT government agencies are collaborating closely to ensure that the options that we bring forward are well calibrated for our city’s unique circumstances. I also look forward to engaging with the community to ensure that Canberra’s tree protection legislation reflects our ambitions for a diverse, healthy and sustainable urban forest.

This report demonstrates that we are well on track to achieve our canopy cover target by 2045, with a lot of great work underway across the diverse actions included in the Urban Forest Strategy. I look forward to reporting back to the Assembly each year as we continue to make progress towards the goal of a greener, cooler Canberra that retains its great amenity and unique character, even in a changing climate.

I present the following papers:

Urban tree canopy coverage—Government response to the Assembly resolution of 31 March 2021.

Urban Forest Strategy—Implementation update—Ministerial statement, 10 November 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the ministerial statement.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (11.05): The Canberra Liberals are ambitious for our territory’s environment and future. As the Canberra Liberals shadow minister for the environment, I welcome the opportunity to respond to Minister Steel’s ministerial statement—the Urban Forest Strategy implementation update—and thank him for the information and the detail that he shared with the Assembly about this important issue. That was the point of the Assembly resolution on 31 March this year—to require the government to provide detailed information about Canberra’s current tree canopy to understand that data suburb by suburb, and to require the minister to provide an annual progress update on how we are tracking in relation to our 30 per cent tree canopy target by 2045.

The Canberra Liberals share Canberra’s strong support for ambitious targets on the environment, from our tree canopy coverage to achieving net zero emissions by 2045;


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