Environment

Content concerning the environment, including urban forest.

Urban Forest Interim Report

State Parliament’s Environment Resources and Development Committee has been looking into the state of Adelaide’s tree canopy in the context of the concerns about the effect of residential subdivisions, urban infill and higher density living on the declining tree canopy in metropolitan Adelaide.

A Conservation Council report estimates that 75,000 trees a year are being lost from Greater Adelaide. A 2018 study estimated that 23% of metro Adelaide is covered by trees, with 52% being on private land, 26% on State government land and 11% on local government land.

Urban Forest Submission

A recent Conservation Council study estimated that Adelaide is losing about 75,000 trees a year. We submit that this is due to a range of factors including population growth, housing densification policy, life-style changes, a failure of the planning system to reserve space around built structures for vegetation and trees, weak legislative protection for existing trees, commercial development and powerline clearance. Government must encourage Council policies and tree species selection.

Influence of Linear Park on Coastal Water Quality

TThe densification of housing along the edges of the Linear Park negates decades of scientific advancement towards the improvement of coastal water quality and marine life. By infilling backyards with housing and concrete driveways, we reduce the area of land available for uptake of rainwater. Instead, rain falls onto roofing and concrete that is delivered into the storm water system, including the River Torrens. The River Torrens is part of an urban catchment that receives and carries pollutants from our urban activities to our coast. This delivery system has driven loss of marine life, with the larger population-sizes causing larger losses (Gorman et al. 2009).

It is worth knowing that our state scientists and managers have pursued environmental improvements needed to underpin the recreational and commercial values of coastal Adelaide. These improvements represent millions of dollars of investment in science and infrastructure for the long-term benefits of South Australia. By recognizing this pursuit and investment, a better considered 30 –Year Plan is needed for the long-term benefit of South Australians.