Tens of thousands of trees will be planted across South Australia to help reduce suburban temperatures, increase air quality and improve liveability with the State Government committing an extra $5.5 million in the upcoming Budget for greening projects.
The $5.5 million will be over four years for an expanded Greener Neighbourhoods program which provides grants to local councils to improve the number and quality of urban street trees, trees in parks, and trees and shrubs contributing towards urban cooling and habitat creation.
The expanded program will also allow regional cities with a population of more than 10,000 to apply.
The announcement comes just days after Adelaide was ranked the most liveable city in Australia – and third most liveable in the world – by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Premier Steven Marshall said the Marshall Liberal Government’s program had already seen nearly 10,000 trees and shrubs planted across metropolitan Adelaide.
“Our Greener Neighbourhoods program aims to boost greenery, cool temperatures, improve air and water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and connect people with nature,” Premier Marshall said.
“By putting an extra $5.5 million into the program and by partnering with local councils to make this money go even further, we will see a significant increase in the number of greening projects across South Australia resulting in tens of thousands of extra trees being planted.”
Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs, said 16 projects have received funding in the first two rounds of the program which has resulted in thousands of trees and shrubs being planted across metropolitan Adelaide.
“We know greener suburbs have lower temperatures and better air quality because plant material radiates less heat and provides increased shade and humidity. Shade from trees can cool areas by two to three degrees in the day and four to five degrees at night,” Minister Speirs said.
“Urban greening is an example of practical action to tackle climate change and provides important benefits for physical and mental health and wellbeing and improves the liveability of our suburbs.”
Recent data released by the State Government showed greater Adelaide’s greenness rating has remained steady over the past 30 years decreasing slightly from 29.5 per cent in 1990-91 to 29.2 per cent in 2018-19.
“While it’s reassuring to see greater Adelaide’s greenness has remained relatively steady despite increased urban development over recent decades, it’s absolutely crucial we do everything we can to increase this,” Minister Speirs said.
“This is why we have established Green Adelaide to lead the greening transformation of our city and committed funding to on-ground works such as these projects.”
“It can be both difficult and expensive to increase green cover in built up suburbs and this significant increase in funding for greening will help get projects off the ground which otherwise wouldn’t be possible.”