City of Darwin’s Tree Re-establishment Advisory Committee (TRAC) has completed its report with some major recommendations being put to Council this week.
As well as identifying trees suitable for replanting after the devastation of Cyclone Marcus, the committee made 27 recommendations for improvements. The most significant being that Council develops a citywide, long-term Strategic Urban Forest Management Plan. The plan will focus on urban forest resiliency, diversity including age and species, increased canopy coverage, and environmental, economic and community benefits.
Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said that TRAC had done some great work in a short space of time and Council is encouraged by the recommendations of the report.
“Council fully supports the development of an Urban Forest Management Plan and will investigate the resourcing and financial requirements to ensure that we deliver the best possible outcomes for our community. We will also fully consider the recommendations made in the report.”
Other recommendations include a review of Council’s current resources concerning tree management and its ability to provide a satisfactory level of service to Council’s tree assets and tree population and a review of all tree related policy and processes to meet the requirements for tree risk management, tree condition assessment, tree removal, tree retention, tree replacement and development against best practice urban forest management models.
Following community consultation, the committee has identified 194 species of trees that are cyclone resilient and suitable for replanting and 25 species of trees that are not suitable for replanting due to their lack of cyclone resilience.
“It is important to note that despite Council’s best efforts to plant trees that are more cyclone resilient, it is likely that there will be tree failures and losses during a storm event,” said the Lord Mayor.
A plan will now be developed for replanting trees. The first community planting days are scheduled for November and December with details to be announced in the coming days.
The photograph shows the Tree Reestablishment Advisory Committee members (left to right) Alderman Peter Pangquee, Jamie Lewis (City of Darwin staff), Tony Cox, Dr Greg Leach (Chair), Fiona Eddlestone, Yvette Brady, Adam Grainger, Simon Smith. (Other TRAC members not present are Richard Kenyon and Edan Fisher)