Friday, July 26, 2024

Tree canopy funding covers Perth, Peel councils

Local governments throughout WA’s Perth and Peel regions are being encouraged to increase their urban tree and vegetation canopy as part of a $3.75 million State Government grants program.

Environment Minister, Reece Whitby (pictured) says the ‘Urban Greening Grants Program’ will assist councils to plant trees and understorey vegetation, increasing urban canopies in a bid to combat climate change.

Interested local governments are urged to get in quick and apply for grants as part of the first round, which is set to close later this month.

“Urban canopies can help fight climate change in several ways,” said Minister Whitby.

“They reduce heat island effect by providing shade and cool air, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen, storing carbon in their biomass, and increasing rainfall retention, and reducing stormwater runoff – leading to a more sustainable water cycle.

“By promoting biodiversity, and reducing the need for artificial cooling and heating, urban canopies can help cut greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change’s impacts.”

Funding for the program has already been allocated to the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) through an agreement with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, with WALGA managing and implementing the program.

“Local governments, with the support of their communities, have been working tirelessly to increase their urban canopy through tree planting, community engagement and modifications to their planning frameworks to protect trees on private land,” said WALGA President, Karen Chappel.

“Expanding the ‘Urban Canopy Grant Program’ was a key priority in WALGA’s 2023-24 State Budget Submission, and this new funding will allow local governments to accelerate their planting efforts.”

Successful grant applicants for the program’s first round will be finalised by the end of February.

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