Local governments in Perth and Peel in Western Australia will be able to expand efforts to reduce urban heat under a once-off $750,000 grant program, announced today by Water Minister Dave Kelly.
Grants of between $5,000 and $100,000 will be available to support tree-planting activities that help increase urban tree canopy cover and improve biodiversity in local communities.
In addition to tree planting, funding is also available for supporting infrastructure, such as tree pits, soil improver, irrigation, drainage and vertical guards for tree protection and growth.
The Urban Canopy Grant Program will be administered by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), in partnership with Water Corporation, and aims to support existing tree-planting initiatives already underway in local governments.
Increasing tree canopy cover is becoming increasingly important as we see rising temperatures associated with climate change.
The program is an initiative under the Western Australian Government’s Waterwise Perth Action Plan, which sets the direction for transitioning Perth to a water-wise city, and for creating cool, liveable and green communities.
Water Minister Dave Kelly commented that vegetation strategies, particularly tree planting, are recognised as one of the most effective ways to reduce the urban heat island effect, which occurs when cities replace natural land cover with pavement or buildings that absorb and retain heat.
“Trees create shade, cool down homes and buildings, and can reduce urban temperatures by up to five degrees. This is increasingly important, as the frequency and duration of heatwaves in Perth intensify, due to climate change,” Minister Kelly said.
“By supporting local governments to expand or extend their existing urban tree canopy programs, the McGowan Government is helping create future neighbourhoods that are cool, sustainable and liveable.”
WALGA President Mayor Tracey Roberts added that the funding will assist local governments in their efforts to redress canopy loss and provide greater scope to create cool corridors for local communities.
“We look forward to working further with the State on delivering these grant projects, so we can all enjoy the benefits this additional shade will bring,” she said.
Applications close at 5 pm on 15 March 2021.