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.

An Interim Report of the committee has recommended; _

  • Cancelling the current ability to remove trees within ten metres of a residential dwelling or swimming pool.
  • Formation of a specialist panel to review tree species with no legal protection.
  • Reducing the trunk circumference for a regulated tree from the current two metres to one metre and for a significant tree from three metres to two metres.
  • Strengthening protection of urban trees by widening the definition of significant and regulated trees to include a canopy cover measurement in addition to trunk circumference.
  • Increasing fees for removing a regulated tree from $326 to $3,000 and from $489 per significant tree to $4,000.
  • Increasing the fine for illegally removing a protected tree to ten times the fee for legally removing it.

For more details refer to the INQUIRY INTO THE URBAN FOREST INTERIM REPORT - 2nd report of the ENVIRONMENT, RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE tabled in the House of Assembly and ordered to be published on 18 October 2023.

You can also read SPRA's February 2023 submission to inquiry.