Ku-ring-gai Council has disputed recent media reports that Ku-ring-gai lost 8.2% of its tree canopy between 2019 and 2022.
The Council has since released the findings of its own study of the local tree canopy between March 2020 and March 2022.
Council commissioned ArborCarbon to assess Ku-ring-gai’s tree canopy using their multispectral fixed wing camera in March 2020 and again in March 2022. These multispectral fixed wing data sets are comparable and conducted with the same methodology at the same time of year and under similar environmental conditions.
The findings contradict figures supplied to the media by the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, which compare a data from statewide assessment using satellite imagery in 2019 and again in 2022 using multispectral fixed wing cameras. According to Ku-ring-gai Council these findings are incorrect as they compare two very different data sets.
The Council’s data obtained between 2020 and 2022 states that Ku-ring-gai lost a total of 1.4% of its tree canopy. Tree canopy was defined in the assessment as vegetation more than 3 metres in height.
Mayor Sam Ngai stated that while the media reports on tree canopy loss in Ku-ring-gai were incorrect, they highlighted a serious concern with the state government’s proposed changes to housing policy.
“Council does have serious concerns about tree cover in the future as the state government’s proposed changes to its housing policy would mean a serious reduction in greenery not just in Ku-ring-gai, but right across the state.”
The Mayor said that Ku-ring-gai Council had adopted an Urban Forest Strategy in 2022 to boost its tree canopy and mitigate tree loss.
“We pride ourselves on having more trees than most council areas in Sydney and we are working hard to build further on our current canopy levels through the Urban Forest Strategy. This strategy aims to have a 49% canopy cover by 2036, which means an additional 44 thousand trees planted in Ku-ring-gai.”
The Mayor added that residents should make their views known to the state government on its housing policy changes by 23 February.
“If the government adopts their proposed changes in the current form, tree loss will be vastly accelerated in Ku-ring-gai and elsewhere”.
To view the NSW Government’s housing policy changes and give feedback go to https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/draftplans/exhibition/explanation-intended-effect-changes-create-low-and-mid-rise-housing