Keeping our towns cool with a Tree Strategy
Our tree-lined roads and lanes are a big part of the character of our communities, yet residents are often having to rally to defend these trees from over zealous roadside clearing plans.
So far this year there has been excessive removal (or proposed removal) of established roadside trees on Congo Rd, Tomakin Rd, Broulee Rd, and on Turnbulls Lane in Moruya.
In the aftermath of the devastating bushfires on the south coast and the tragic loss of trees and biodiversity, the clearing of any remaining healthy trees needs serious consideration.
Removing damaged or clearly dangerous trees makes sense, but removing large, established trees that have been defining and shading our existing lanes and roads for many years is heartbreaking and often unwarranted.
To address this problem, once on council we will develop a Tree Strategy to both protect and expand existing urban tree canopy and green cover. As part of that we will consult with the community on this issue of roadside trees vs. speed and safety considerations.
We will listen to views around how to manage any hazards they may pose, while retaining the beauty and character they bring to our shire.
Securing sufficient tree canopy is also critical to addressing the Urban Heat effect that is making summer increasingly uncomfortable in our towns and villages. This is caused by the increasing amount of hard, unshaded surfaces in built up areas and it is being made worse by climate change. To keep our towns cool we need shade trees and green cover more than ever. Of course, trees are also beautiful and calming, are our best carbon capture and storage infrastructure, and the lungs of our planet.
We need to protect and expand tree canopy, ensuring that as our communities grow so does our green cover. We will address the need for more trees and plant diversity in our streets and parks as part of an Urban Tree Strategy.