Friday, March 1, 2024

Brisbane native plant program grows city’s green credentials

Brisbane City Council’s free native plant program has gifted more than 250,000 plants to residents. 

Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner said the free program helped reduce costs for residents, while promoting a clean, green and sustainable lifestyle.

“Brisbane backyards are springing to life with 250,000 free plants given over the past five years to help to beautify gardens, provide shade and create habitat for native birds and wildlife,” Lord Mayor Schrinner said.

“Not only is it a win for residents’ wallets but it’s a win for the environment too.

“The most popular free native plants are the thyme honey-myrtle, bottlebrush and coastal rosemary.

“These plants often cost north of $10, so residents collecting multiple free native plants a year are getting a great deal.

“I know the people of Brisbane have a real spring in their step knowing they don’t have to spend big to enjoy their backyard.”

The Lord Mayor said the Free Native Plant Program was just one of the many programs keeping Brisbane green and sustainable.

“About 80% of residents live in a suburb with more than 20% tree cover, which is more than Sydney and Melbourne with 44% and 30% respectively,” he said.

“We have an enviable outdoor lifestyle, and our Greener Suburbs Program helps to enhance this by increasing tree planting and landscaping in the suburbs.

“We’re quickly approaching 50,000 street trees planted since I became Lord Mayor, which is a milestone I’m particularly proud of.

“Brisbane’s green reputation isn’t going unnoticed. We’re one of only two cities globally to receive gold level under the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Cities Global Initiative.

“Accolades like this one mean the raft of measures our Council team continues to undertake to keep Brisbane clean and green, to preserve our unique lifestyle and ensure we grow sustainably is working.”

Under the Free Native Plants program, residents are eligible for two free native plants each financial year, and residents who have recently purchased a new home or moved into an owner-built home in targeted suburbs can claim a one-off of four free native plants.

To receive a stamped Free Native Plant voucher, residents need to present their rates notice or written authority from the property owner to a Brisbane City Council library, Regional Business Centre or ward office.

“In addition to picking up the free plants from a participating nursery, residents can visit Downfall Creek Bushland Centre at Chermside West or Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre with their rates notice and collect their plants from Council’s display stand,” Lord Mayor Schrinner said.

“Free native plants are also available to schools, kindergartens, registered community groups and charitable organisations, and clubs on Council-leased land.”

The Council also provides more than 10,000 free native plants each year through the annual Green Heart Fair.

The Free Native Plant program was introduced in the late 1960s and is the longest-running program of its kind in Australia.

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