THE Greens are promising to double Fremantle’s tree canopy by 2040 under an “urban forest” plan. Freo council has already adopted a policy to increase the dire coverage of trees over barren streets…
Where’s the Trees, where’s the Green?
Words are one thing all politicians are good at, action is another thing completely.
The Fremantle Council has a few greens on it and currently Fremantle has the 2nd worst hard surface amount in WA, according to the 202020, report.
Since that report was done we have seen the Esplanade Concreted over, worsening that particular situation.
We have seen the majority of these councilors; approve a plan that cut down 100+ mature trees in White Gum Valley on the Old Kim Beazley site.
They also did not demand that the developer give the necessary 10% additional open public space as is normal with these developments, instead allowed them to use the public space that was already there. So the developer could get in more small blocks adding more concrete and hard surface covering.
Then we see the Burt St development went down a similar path with council again not stipulating the required 10% open public space, again allowing more concrete more hard surface covering.
We see this council with all these Fremantle council members most of houses, driving for smaller and small blocks, higher R-codes, high density, more med high rise development, which leads to more and more trees being cut down.
Again we see the Concrete from our green council pouring into our parks so they build basketballs on park land which Fremantle already in short supply.
Most councils in the world supply similar services to their residents, sporting areas are great. What most councils with an ounce of common sense do is invest that money into areas that are run down or poorly utilized, in disrepair etc, to build these public services. Not Fremantle council they go straight for the park land and trees, pouring in the concrete.
Then we see more concrete coming down a Port beach with the new flow rider system, more open land for concrete.
We see in a report last year that over 90% of new trees planted by councils don’t make, so for even the ones that do we have to wait 2 decades to see some benefit from them. You think that would make the existing trees even more precious, well I guess not for Freo council.
So when they say they will improve the tree canopy to double by 2040, I see they didn’t make a note of what the coverage is presently, so we are clear from what point we are starting from. Otherwise just expect more of our Mayors unique smoke and mirrors, slide of hand. Also not clarified is whether, Fremantle’s means the CBD, the greater city of Fremantle, the State Electoral boundaries, or the Federal election boundaries
We have many of these councilors and mayor for a decade now, yet still our tree canopy shrinks.
So with it taking at least 20 yrs. to get a tree and its canopy established , all going well, that means for the Greens to succeed they would have to double all the trees currently in Fremantle, have them all survive and grow above the roof line of houses to be considered a canopy.
That’s a bit hard when the greens on council are hell bent on density, which now is just clearing blocks removing everything just to squeeze as many dwellings as possible.
Then we have the Councils drive for urban rail and the route the Mayor and his team are taking that will be hundred’s more trees cut down to facilitate that.
Then we have the ever increasing amount of containers coming from the Fremantle port even if the Outer Harbour is built, and of course our council has objected to that too. Instead building the massive Lat 32 which adds 140 km2’s of hard coverage to Cockburn and destroying any tree canopy there too. So it’s hard to see how they will double tree canopy when the Fremantle Council supported policy is to build the biggest industrial park in Australia.
So actions speaking louder than words, it’s a fairly pie in the sky promise, which should have its intended action of rallying a few voters for the green cause and have its disciples sprouting the virtues of the Green Dogma, while its agents at Council, keep driving up the R-zoning clearing more trees, and laying more concrete. Going in the opposite direction of the said promise, only to blame, capitalists, Tony Abbott or conservatives about the evil ways when in fact it looks like the greens are just showing their hypocrisy yet again.
Urban tree canopy (UTC) is the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above. In urban areas, the UTC provides an important storm water management function by intercepting rainfall that would otherwise run off of paved surfaces and be transported into local waters though the storm drainage system, picking up various pollutants along the way. UTC also reduces the urban heat island effect, reduces heating/cooling costs, lowers air temperatures, reduces air pollution, increases property values, provides wildlife habitat, and provides aesthetic and community benefits such as improved quality of life.
Urban Bush land Council’s Mary Gray agreed that more trees were needed in metropolitan areas,,,
“Unfortunately, they tend to bulldoze the whole landscape instead of looking at what’s there and then building in amongst it.
“It seems crazy to wipe the whole lot out.”
Killing the Great Australian Dream – Limit urban sprawl, says Freo mayor Brad Pettit – The West Australian