TREE PLANTING UNDERWAY FOR COOLER, GREENER WEST

More trees will begin going into the ground in Braybrook, Footscray, West Footscray, and Maribyrnong this month, establishing green canopies and creating cooler spaces, thanks to the first phase of the Victorian Government’s More Trees for a Cooler, Greener West initiative.

The Government is investing $5 million to plant both mature and young trees across Melbourne’s west, including in the Footscray electorate, providing more shade and green spaces, driving down pollution, improving air quality and helping tackle climate change.

Local spokesperson said residents in Braybrook, Footscray, West Footscray, and Maribyrnong can look forward to greener streets, schools, parks and trails with advanced trees and saplings being planted over the coming months.

The first phase of the initiative will see trees planted this spring and next autumn to give them the best chance of survival.

Local councils and public land managers were invited to apply for grants of up to $250,000 for new projects and to scale up existing planting projects with a focus on mature trees.

In 2018, Melbourne’s west had just 5.5 per cent canopy cover in urban areas compared to 17.4 per cent in the inner south-east and 25.9 per cent in the east. The western suburbs experience the greatest urban heat island effect across metropolitan Melbourne.

The new trees will add to the thousands of hectares of new open space and parklands delivered under the $154 million Suburban Parks Program, which is providing more than 6,500 hectares of parkland, walking trails, bike trails, pocket parks and dog parks – including 22 new and upgraded parks in Melbourne’s west.

For details about projects funded in the first phase visit http://environment.vic.gov.au/more-trees-for-a-cooler-greener-west.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio:

“We’re planting the right trees in the right places to give families more places to enjoy nature, provide shade and help cool and green the western suburbs.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Footscray Katie Hall MP

“As Melbourne’s west continues to grow, we’re making sure there are greener streets and open spaces for everyone to enjoy.”

“We are thrilled to see more trees going into the ground in the suburbs that need them most right across Melbourne’s west.”