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Contribute to ‘greening’ Ballarat by having your say on Draft Urban Forest Action Plan

The Ballarat community has a chance to contribute to a greener, more vibrant Ballarat by having their say on the Draft Urban Forest Action Plan.

An Urban Forest Action Plan, which was outlined as a key action of the Today, Tomorrow, Together: The Ballarat Strategy, will help guide the protection and enhancement of urban trees.

The City of Ballarat is now a step closer to finalising this plan, with the final stage of community consultation launching tomorrow.

The Draft Urban Forest Action Plan was developed following community feedback in late 2017, which contributors will recall as the Urban Forest Discussion Paper.

More than 150 people contributed to this initial phase of consultation, which highlighted some common concerns and priorities that the community believed needed to be considered in developing a detailed urban forest planting and management program.
The Draft Urban Forest Action Plan brings together community aspirations and existing policies and strategies in order to guide a new approach to protecting and enhancing Ballarat‘s Urban Forest.

The draft plan sets the following targets:
 Establish a comprehensive tree inventory for measurement and management. Collecting a consistent and clean set of data for all our urban trees will provide us with a greater understanding for our urban forest and implement a more holistic approach to planning
 Increase canopy cover from our existing 17 per cent to 40 per cent by 2040. Ballarat’s current canopy cover is at 17 per cent, with some areas such as Wendouree, recording canopy cover as low as seven per cent
 Achieve an increase in two hectares of green space in the CBD, identifying areas of opportunity through the conversion of asphalt
 Develop tree precinct plans for priority areas of social vulnerability. Areas which record some of Ballarat’s most disadvantaged communities and lowest canopy covers include Wendouree, Sebastopol and Delacombe.

The Draft Urban Forest Action Plan will be available to download from mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au from 9am Friday 18 January.

Community members have an opportunity to provide their feedback between now and Monday 18 February 2019.

Feedback received during this phase of consultation will inform the final plan.