The Victorian Government is investing $5 million to plant trees across Melbourne’s west through the More Trees for a Cooler, Greener West initiative.
More than 30,000 mature and young trees will be going into the ground across Melbourne’s west, providing more shade and green spaces, driving down pollution, improving air quality and helping tackle climate change.
Local councils and public land managers were invited to apply for grants of up to $250,000 for new projects and to scale up existing planting projects with a focus on mature trees.
Victoria Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, announced the first grants through the initiative.
Residents in the west can look forward to greener streets, schools, parks and trails with advanced trees and saplings being planted across six local council areas over the coming months.
The first phase of the initiative will see trees planted this spring and next autumn to give them the best chance of survival.
In 2018, Melbourne’s west had just 5.5 per cent canopy cover in urban areas compared to 17.4 per cent in the inner south-east and 25.9 per cent in the east.
Minister D’Ambrosio said, ““As the western suburbs continue to grow, we’re making sure there are greener streets and open spaces for everyone to enjoy.
“We know the western suburbs experience the greatest urban heat island effect across metropolitan Melbourne so it’s great to see the first phase of tree planting projects underway with a focus on established trees that will have an immediate impact.”
The trees will bolster Victoria’s efforts to tackle climate change, helping meet targets to halve emissions by 2030 as the state works toward reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
The new trees will add to the thousands of hectares of new open space and parklands delivered under the $154 million Suburban Parks Program, which is providing more than 6,500 hectares of parkland, walking trails, bike trails, pocket parks and dog parks – including 22 new and upgraded parks in Melbourne’s west.