The Victorian Government has pledged to plant 500,000 trees across six council municipalities in Melbourne’s west.
The government will invest $5 million to plant the trees which it says will provide more shade and green spaces, drive down pollution and improve air quality.
“The pandemic reminded us how important it is for our physical and mental health to have green open spaces close to home,” said Acting Premier, James Merlino.
“These trees will mean more families in the western suburbs can enjoy a cooler, cleaner environment around them.”
In 2018, Melbourne’s west had just 5.5% canopy cover in urban areas compared to 17.4% in the inner south-east and 25.9% in the east.
Mr Merlino said the government will work with experts to make sure the right trees, ranging from saplings to more mature trees, are planted in the right spots.
“Funding will be available through grants to community organisations and local councils, and organisations with projects already underway will be able to apply for funding to scale up those projects,” he said.
The new trees, which will be planted from September, will also provide vital new habitats for urban biodiversity, increasing links between existing trees and connections between parks.
“These trees, together with our investment in suburban parks, will help Victoria tackle climate change and support our goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio.