Two years ago Council changed the Tree Management Development Control Plan to permit easier removal of trees within 2 metres of a dwelling house or garage The result has been a reduction of 20 hectares in canopy on private land. Despite an increase in canopy on public land by 6 hectares in the past year, this means the Inner West tree canopy is decreasing and is now at 17.36%, below the city wide average of 23%. A 10% increase in tree canopy reduces the land surface temperature by 1.13 degrees Celsius, supports cleaner air and water, and provides local habitat.

Greens councillors will work to:

  • Ensure the Inner West Council achieves the tree canopy targets included in Clause 1 of the Tree Management Development Control Plan (Tree DCP) by 2030 in line with the NSW Government target.
  • Require reporting on progress in achieving those targets.
  • Amend the Tree DCP to remove the automatic approval of removal of a tree within 2 metres of a dwelling house or garage located within the same lot as the tree (Tree DCP 5.2(i)).
  • Require appropriate decisions about whether trees close to a dwelling or garage are able to be removed. While this will take into account proximity, approval will not be automatic. Permission will be granted for genuine problem trees based on the criteria in the Tree DCP.
  • Require consultation with neighbours before removal of a tree whether on public or private property. 
  • Ensure that the “preference” for mature replacement trees is implemented. 
  • Ensure all trees planted by Council are locally endemic trees, and this is also encouraged on private property.
  • Have Inner West Council provide at cost or subsidised advice on tree removal and pruning to residents who can’t afford to get their own advice.
  • Have Council provide free advice to residents on selecting trees and shrubs for their gardens which are suitable for the area and which attract and support wildlife and insects.
  • Identify areas of concrete which can be replaced with native gardens.
  • Require Ausgrid to insulate its wires where trees are impacted so as to ensure pruning of trees is not required to protect electricity supply.
  • Ensure the doubling of the tree planting budget continues in future years and apply for all available grants for tree planting from the NSW Government. 
  • Implement the Significant Tree Register 
  • Encourage more green roofs and walls in the Inner West