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    Sydney set to branch out with 5 million new trees

    Five million new trees will be planted in Sydney by 2030, making the city a greener place to live, according to premier Gladys Berejiklian. 

    The NSW government says that it will plant more than 380,000 trees every year until 2030 and give away another 15,000 trees to people who are building homes in new land release areas across Western Sydney.  

    It will more than double the tree canopy in Sydney from 16.8 percent at present to 40 percent, with all the trees being natives. 

    “With more people putting down roots in our suburbs, this tremendous initiative will improve everyone’s quality of life and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come,” says Berejiklian. 

    “Sydney is growing, but growth should not come at a cost to the environment or local amenity.” 

    The announcement is part of the NSW government’s $290 million Open Spaces and Greener Sydney package, including $100 million to secure strategic green space, $20 million to build more than 200 new or upgraded playgrounds and $30 million to open up 81 school ovals and playgrounds for public use during school holidays. 

    The NSW Government is supporting the new ‘Five Million Trees’ initiative with an initial $37.5 million in funding over four years. 

    Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts says the money would be provided through an annual grants program that will assist tree planting initiatives across Greater Sydney. 

    “Planting more trees will contribute to the lowering of urban heat in Sydney and improve the environment for pedestrians at street level,” says Roberts. 

    According to the commissioner of Open Space and Parklands Fiona Morrison, “Tree canopy coverage contributes to an improvement in biodiversity habitats for species as well as providing much-needed shade for our streets and homes. Trees also improve visual amenity, landscape and a ‘sense of place’ in our suburbs.” 

    According to the site Treepedia, which rates cities using interactive maps to provide what is called the "Green View Index," a rating that quantifies how many trees there are on every street, Sydney’s rating currently stands at 25.9 percent, putting it on the same level as Montreal and Vancouver.

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