Sunday, 6 February 2022

 Dear Friends on Mayor Michael' tree email group,  

I regret that Council voted 4/7 against the motion to support in principle and to draft a policy for public consultation to provide financial incentives for private land owners to retain or plant trees.

I am disappointed but not giving up.

The main game is the permanent loss of both trees and the future capacity to plant trees ……..  Your Council has taken a UNANIMOUS decision to fight this ….. either new developments will have a 15% tree canopy or they pay 10% higher rates to buy land elsewhere to plant trees on. This will make existing large trees valuable. 

We need the State Minister for Planning’s approval to be able to do this.

We have had three years searching for every idea… most have been implemented.

We have had three years implementing all other ideas such as tree giveaways and education and this has made a 2 Hectare difference each year. We are losing 4+ Hectares each year.

As a result, we now have the following situation…

If we are successful with the state government agreeing to an Unley Offset Scheme, we will over 50 years drop to 20% canopy.

And if not to under 13% Canopy cover.

Some members recognising this shortfall spoke about asking for new ideas and going into public consultation, such as the one we are undertaking for a city-wide parking strategy. A great idea, but we will lose at least 2-3 years of action. If those voting against the motion are still unhappy that the “perfect idea” is not forthcoming…. 13% canopy is coming for Unley’s children.

Thank you, Mary, for the article… ‘Ultimately uninhabitable’: western Sydney’s legacy of planning failure (

Tree Canopy LiDar Data Summary


Annual M²

Unley Council has a 27.99% 2021 canopy cover


We need to save 40,748 m² each year (p/a)


We need to plant 21,435m² p/a to increase to 31%


State Offset Scheme support will save 20363 m²


Free giveaways education street trees plant….