Expert warns ‘two million trees’ program could fail

The City Council’s Two Million Trees for Brisbane program would fail unless they provided ongoing care for young trees planted under the program, a environmental expert said yesterday.

Queensland University Planning and Environmental management expert Dr Clive McAlpine said the council needed to ensure ongoing care to prevent a repeat of the failed one billion trees for Australia scheme under the Hawke government.

“The maintenance of them is in the long term, it’s not just planting,” he said.

Professor McAlpine said he supported the council’s planting scheme but stressed the importance of policy to protect existing habitat.

He said council needed to protect existing old growth bush land in addition to planting programs as young trees would take more than 100 years to mature and provide hollows and nesting sites for animals.

Professor McAlpine’s comment came after chairman of the Environment, Parks and Sustainability committee, Councillor Peter Matic, hailed his trees across Brisbane program a success in the council chamber last week.

He said the program recently planted its one millionth tree and would provide Brisbane with two million trees over the council’s elected term.

Cr Matic said the trees would provide future habitat for endangered animals in the Brisbane area and become “the green lungs of our city”.

Photo: Trees in an Albion park (John Corlett)

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