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Marrickville Council Media Release dated today – 13th June 2013 as follows –

Help Marrickville Council grow a Street Tree MasterPlan

Marrickville Council is currently consulting with the community on street trees, which will help in the preparation of a new Street Tree MasterPlan.

Street trees are a major community asset, vital to the health and beauty of our public domain. Like everything in nature, trees have a life cycle and Council needs to plan for their protection, maintenance and renewal.

In 2011 Council adopted the Marrickville Urban Forest Policy and Strategy which recognises the urban forest as an essential, living infrastructure asset and resource that provides a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits. Amongst other recommendations, the Strategy proposes an increase in the urban forest canopy.

In 2012 Council finalised a street tree condition audit of approximately 22,000 street trees. In addition to species, size, condition and risk assessment, the audit has spatially located each tree, mapped the overhead power line network and infrastructure damage associated with the trees.

Now Council has commenced work on its first draft Street Tree MasterPlan. The MasterPlan will provide a blueprint for new planting programs that address current tree management issues such as an aging tree population, biodiversity, species selection and risk management across the council area.

Council is currently conducting a phone and online survey, and will undertake further community engagement.

“Council’s Urban Forest Policy and Strategy established Council’s commitment to a green, healthy, and beautiful Marrickville,” said the Mayor of Marrickville Councillor Victor Macri.

“The next step in the holistic management of Marrickville’s street trees is to develop the MasterPlan, in consultation with our residents. Maintaining our street trees is part of our stated commitment to ensuring Marrickville’s streets, lanes and public spaces are sustainable, welcoming, accessible and clean,” Councillor Macri said.

To have your say on street trees, and the Street Tree MasterPlan, go to

http://yoursaymarrickville.com.au/street-trees

Media Contact: Elizabeth Heath, Communications and Marketing Coordinator Ph 9392 5334

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It’s good to see Council describing the urban forest as – “an essential, living infrastructure asset.”  I’d like Council to set a target as to the percentage of urban forest canopy they wish to achieve & by what year this target will be met.

I love that Council chose a photo of a street lined with mature Brushbox trees on the Your Say Marrickville website.  Yes, these beautiful streets exist, but they are certainly not the norm in our municipality.

I feel quite positive about this opportunity for community consultation.  At the moment Council is only asking us to participate in a short survey, but this may open up for other feedback opportunities further down the process.  The full Street Tree Inventory is also available to download.  I haven’t seen the full document until today, so this should make interesting reading.  More later when I know more.

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