Just months after the Inner West Council (IWC) supported Addison Road Community Organisation’s ‘Rethinking the Urban Forest Conference’, which attracted experts and participants from around Australia, IWC appears to have reset its policy thinking on tree canopy to destruction mode.
As a recent Sydney Morning Herald article (weblink below) explains, “Anger over the Inner West Council’s controversial new tree-clearing policy – which gives private landholders the right to remove the vast majority of trees in the area – has spread beyond environmental campaigners to the state Coalition government…”
“The [new] policy is an outlier among inner-city council areas in giving private residents almost unrestricted rights to remove trees on their land, says Jeff Angel from the Total Environment Centre.”
The Council’s proposed tree policy, apparently pushed through at the last minute – despite a year of community consultation and expectation – is both opportunistic and thoughtless. It completely fails to draw on the evidence about the contribution urban forests make as green infrastructure, combatting the ever-increasing effects of climate change, heat effects and providing population benefits, like improved physical and mental health. What does the IWC have to say about all these issues now?
If only we had known that the work and research of our Conference presenters and community of participants was going to be so savagely ignored and rejected.
For more on this situation, read the SMH story here:
For the range and depth of evidence about the importance of our urban trees to our quality of life: