What do you think of Green Adelaide’s draft Regional Landscape Plan?

We want your feedback on Green Adelaide’s draft Regional Landscape Plan - a pathway to a cooler, greener, wilder, and climate-resilient Adelaide.

Read the draft Regional Landscape Plan (2021-2026) and the Plan Summary.

If you are from an organisation or group, we've developed a set of Discussion Questions to help guide your feedback in regards to partnerships and the Plan.

Have your say by commenting below.

 

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Matt Farrell

11 Apr 2021

The Sellicks Woodlands and Wetlands Action Network (SWWAN) have made a submission to create the Willunga Basin Coast Conservation Park on the last open stretch of the metropolitan coastline from Maslin's Beach to Sellicks Beach. We are proposing this to act on biodiversity loss and to protect our community from the health threats posed by climate change.

The park will also protect and benefit the Willunga Basin food bowl and wine industries, diversify the area's tourism, protect a significant portion of the culturally significant Tjilbruke Dreaming Trail and maintain the character of this idyllic coastline that is currently threatened by urban development. It is a plan for the future.

Read the submission to Green Adelaide on our website www.sellickswoodlands.com and if you like it let YOUR SAY know.

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Stephen Fuller

10 Apr 2021

A critical element of any plan for the future is education. This is particularly so where there is a requirement for substantial change in the way we live. For Adelaide to develop the characteristics set out in the draft the people need to understand the underlying issues, have the skills to be able to participate in the cultural, technological, economic and behavioural changes necessary to foster the emergence of a coherent set of policies, and maintain their love and care for Adelaide and its environment.
'Education for Sustainability' (EfS) is the proven discipline that can deliver a population equipped to support and help deliver the plan.
Sadly, SA's education system is poorly resourced to participate meaningfully in a program of EfS, our educators are time poor, poorly trained and lack the support necessary to deliver EfS and most of our politicians have little idea or interest in this matter because it requires long term thinking, planning and commitment.
Sadder still, Green Adelaide is weakening its support for educators in the school system leaving our children to develop without the kills and abilities needed to comprehend and help solve the catastrophic future that years of inaction, denial and greed will bequeath them.
While the current generation of adults have failed to address of the problems of environmental decline we are also depriving the next generations of the education needed to solve those problems.
The Green Adelaide plan needs to be underpinned by a comprehensive commitment to skilling up our entire community to participate directly and indirectly in the actions needed to deliver it. A plan without support and participation by a directly engaged population is likely to falter and fail upon the altar of self interest and greed.
It has been heartening to hear the consistent expressions of support for education as an underpinning for the Green Adelaide plan through the consultation period, however, the tepid support for it our Education Minister and his colleagues in parliament provides little hope.
The obsession with literacy and numeracy, testing, reporting and process leaves little scope for the vital task of preparing our young and ourselves for the future.
Business as usual is over. It's time for the business of equipping and preparing ourselves for the monumental challenges of the future. A viable sustainable green Adelaide depends on it.

Jane Paterson > Stephen Fuller

12 Apr 2021

Like "The Green Adelaide plan needs to be underpinned by a comprehensive commitment to skilling up our entire community to participate directly and indirectly in the actions needed to deliver it." Although Urban habitat is under threat Green Adelaide have an important role to help educate the community and to help all of us in the community to understand the importance of making good environmental decisions that will benefit the community and the environment.
A community education campaign about environment decline and that there is hope if the community can change it's habits and views on trees as something to be cut down/feared a limb might fall as something to be protected and valued.

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Geoff Simmons

10 Apr 2021

I think the plan is a good start but lacks many means of measuring results. The biggest environmental disaster in this state is actually Adelaide. It has taken some of the best land and covered it with tar and cement. The previous government came up with this stupid infill plan. It lets mainly developers destroy trees but more importantly it destroys greenery such as lawns. Work at University of California suggests greenery produces almost as much Oxygen. Building over greenery also prevents water penetration and increase the risk of flooding. Government at all levels seem to be affected by the disease of increased revenue at all costs. Learn to live within your current income. Also stop population growth. Do we really want Adelaide to be just another environmental disaster like Sydney

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David Jones

08 Apr 2021

PRIORITY: Fauna, flora and ecosystem health in the urban environment 
F2: Invest and partner in protecting, improving and/or creating terrestrial habitats
The character of the outer sections of the Green Adelaide Region is defined by the remains of native bushland that once covered the whole area. The bushland remnants are scattered across National Parks, Council parks, private and public lands, and roadsides.
It is pleasing to see that there is action on restoration of bushland in some areas of the Adelaide region. However, all areas are under serious, continuing threat from invasions of feral plants such as European Olives and Desert Ash, plus many others. These two tree species in particular, are an existential threat to native flora, as they totally out-compete any other flora, creating monocultures. The Green Adelaide Region has already lost large areas of bushland to these weeds. Unless immediate and drastic action is taken, the Green Adelaide Region will irretrievably lose what bushland we have left.
As a priority, there needs to be more resources put into targeting areas of bushland that are in the initial stages of attack by Olives and Desert Ash, with long term followup programs to keep them free of these weeds. While Parks are the obvious targets for eradication programs, there are vast lengths of roadside verges that contain remnant native vegetation. Road verges often contain the last vestiges of native vegetation, as adjacent land has been cleared for housing and agriculture, and they are therefore invaluable remnants. However, road verges are often ignored or overlooked by councils, with the result that remnant vegetation is gradually deteriorating as it is overrun by feral plants, in particular Olives and Desert Ash. There needs to be recognition that remnant native vegetation along road verges is a valuable asset that needs to be respected and preserved.

PRIORITY: Nature education 
FOCUS: Facilitate cross-sector nature education community campaigns to reach diverse audiences
OUTCOME: Increased community awareness, understanding and inspiration to connect with and care for nature
The general awareness and knowledge of native flora in our communities, is extremely low. Most people are have little or no knowledge of native flora, let alone respect for our heritage flora. This is evidenced by the almost total lack of native flora planted in people’s gardens. There need to be education programs to raise the profile of native flora as garden plants. By making people more aware of their use in their own gardens, they will also become more aware of, perhaps form more of a bond with, and feel a responsibility to care for our bushland too.

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Sara Beazley

07 Apr 2021

A good starting point as an aspirational statement about how we all want to live in a greener more sustainable environment.
My concern is that it will not lead to any practical solution to resolving the major problem here which is the inherent inconsistency between achieving the objects of the Plan and the government’s residential infill policy as embodied within the current planning and development system.
The implications of residential infill for the Adelaide urban areas are set out on page 7 of the Plan, they include smaller allotments, increased built area including site coverage, less private garden space and increased sealed areas. The successful uptake of the infill policy is the single most significant reason for the rapid loss of tree canopy. This is all occurring on private land and legitimised by the planning system.
The Landscape Plan provides not one mention of how the planning system must be utilised as a mechanism to address the problem.
The recommendation is for water sensitive urban design (WSUD) and biodiversity sensitive urban design (BSUD). How will these be implemented and how will they relate to the residential infill policies in the new Design Code? It is stated that the Landscape Plan will align with the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide (2017 Update). To be effective the Landscape Plan will need to achieve drastic change to the 30-Year Plan. Nor am not hopeful that the new Design Code, in its current form is capable of achieving WSUD/BSUD outcomes. Where is the statutory mechanism to ensure these principles can impact individual developments?
It is not enough to ‘ensure’ that the Board will ‘meet legislative obligations. The creation of new legislative obligations is required if any meaningful change to Adelaide’s urban areas is to be achieved.

Matt Farrell > Sara Beazley

11 Apr 2021

The 30-Year Adelaide plan is outdated and needs to be reviewed and updated immediately to take into the increase in our understanding of climate change and biodiversity loss since it was last updated in 2017.
The Sellicks Woodlands and Wetland Network which I'm a part of are opposed to the urban development at Sellicks and Aldinga based on this plan.We have instead proposed that the area be restored as conservation park to act on climate change and biodiversity loss. Our needs have changed, so must the plan.
You can see there submission at
www.sellickswoodlands.com

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Steven Mudge

29 Mar 2021

The loss of tree cover is not limited to infill development. Significant trees policy (and legislation) across the board needs considerable overhaul. There should be incentives provided to landholders to maintain mature trees in a residential setting. They are a considerable expense that many would rather cut down than pay for on an ongoing basis to contribute to maintaining biodiversity and tree cover for community good. Maintenance pruning costs $1000s. It would probably be greater benefit to cost for government/councils to pay landholders in urban settings part of the cost to maintaining significant trees. An alternative could be a council provided service to help maintain significant trees through their arboriculture teams. The change in the energy system towards home solar is another driver of reduced tree cover. Owners of properties with significant trees that shade their rooves are unable to install solar for their own benefit (without removing the tree) and take on that cost for the benefit of the broader community. These are also drivers of reduced tree canopy (in addition to infill) and should be taken up by Green Adelaide to achieve biodiversity and tree cover targets.

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Heath Hunter

27 Mar 2021

Some strong action on feral European honeybees in the Green Adelaide region is long overdue. The Australian government recognises these bees as an invasive species, and the NSW government recognises competition from feral honeybees as a key threatening process to biodiversity.

We know that honeybees take over tree hollows and artificial hollows (nesting boxes) that would normally be used by native birds, possums or microbats. They have been documented stinging birds to death during this aggressive interaction.

We know that honeybees often remove 80% or more of the pollen and nectar produced by flowers, which can result in competitive displacement of native bees, other insects, birds and mammals. Native honeyeaters and wattlebirds have been documented being killed by honeybee stings while feeding on flowering shrubs.

We know that honeybees reduce seed set on some native plants, and they pollinate invasive weeds, such as gorse and scotch broom. Feral European honeybees also pose a disease risk to managed hives.

I recently counted the number of feral honeybee hives in some of the parks and reserves in the inner northern suburbs, and the numbers are astounding. Folland Park is a small parcel of land in Enfield that has been managed to protect remnant vegetation and native fauna. Within its boundary there are 10 feral honeybee hives in tree hollows. The Gepps Cross Sports Park has at least 17 feral hives, and the Pooraka Unity Park has 50. I’ve seen similar (and even higher) densities throughout the entire greater Adelaide region. I suspect that in many of these parks, the honeybees are at their maximum population densities – only limited by the availability of pollen and nectar. In 2006, a team of Adelaide bat scientists conducted a survey of tree hollows in the parklands in an attempt to investigate bat roosting sites and diets. The number of hollows colonised by feral bees was so high that not a single microbat was found!

A major contributing factor to this problem is the surge in backyard beekeeping in recent years. The general public often has no idea about the impacts of honeybees on the environment, and usually there is no awareness of swarming or how to prevent it. The views of most councils and the wider community seems to be that honeybees are good for the environment, and they need to be promoted and protected. I think the installation of observational hives in libraries (like the one at Woodville) can perpetuate these misconceptions.

I would like to see Green Adelaide raise awareness and promote further research into the impact of feral European honeybees on native fauna, particularly hollow-dwelling species. Backyard beekeepers should be educated on responsible hive management to stop their bees from swarming and invading nearby tree hollows. I would like to see councils focus on promoting native bees only, not honeybees. Most importantly, I would like to see Green Adelaide work with local government to reduce the number of feral hives across the Adelaide region. I know of one council which had a tree hollow near a school that was constantly being recolonised by feral bees. Due to the risk to public safety, the council decided to permanently seal the hollow shut with expandable foam. The solution should have been to eradicate feral hives from the surrounding area to reduce the chance of recolonisation. Removing natural tree hollows from the environment should never be a solution to this problem.

I hope Green Adelaide will consider these views when formulating the next Annual Business Plan. I think “Reclaiming our Hollows” even has the potential to become an iconic project.

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Jane Paterson

26 Mar 2021

Furthermore because the cutting down of Adelaide's big trees has occurred over several years and incrementally the loss makes it difficult to capture and recognise. Also the regulated and significant trees that we've lost have by far and away the biggest tree canopy cover and even when semi-mature stock is planted to replace a tree it will take years to grow and a warming climate is affecting it's ability to grow and mature. I understand there’s no magic bullet but together we can make a difference, every tree planted and cared for, every tree saved or every verge greened is helping our environment. By engaging and educating the community we really start to turn the tide on tackling the lack and loss of urban greenery and tree canopy cover in Adelaide.

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Jane Paterson

26 Mar 2021

Dear Ned and Green Adelaide, I am certainly not against urban infill and density up lift, however, it needs to be done in an environmentally sustainable way that benefits the city and it's people, not solely for monetary reasons. The communities concerns over our suburbs losing its mature shade trees at an alarming rate and the underutilization of our council verges is REAL and it's been happening for years. Did you know that Adelaide has the lowest percentage of tree canopy cover in any Australian city? The lack of urban tree cover places the community at significant risk to a warming climate. Fortunately, we can all do something about it and hopefully that's what Green Adelaide can achieve. The evidence is clear, trees improve our health and wellbeing, provide a habitat for wildlife, capture carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and cool and green our streets providing valuable shade.

We have to be innovative in minimising any tree-canopy loss whilst substantially expanding southern Adelaide’s green cover.
With urban uplift and density infill it's important that verges are planted with shade trees or green plants (not artificial turf). They are critical to cooling and greening our suburbs and are an under utilised space. This is one of the most significant green spaces left in the urban environment and it’s an amazing opportunity to create urban habitats, reduce the heat island effect and cool our streets. Also recently lawns have been proven not to be bad, in fact, watered before a heat wave they provide a valuable cooling effect. I respect your opinions, however it's important when leaving comments that the information is accurate and relevant to the discussion. Thank you

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Ned Feary

25 Mar 2021

I substantially disagree with a lot of the comments here thus far. One proposes a minimum lot size of 500sqm! At that size Adelaide would go from here to Port Augusta! Limiting urban sprawl is absolutely vital to ensuring that we have a sustainable environment. If we have a lot size of 500sqm, people will just build houses that are 400+sqm and still leave no room for trees.

We have to use the space more effectively- lawns are bad. I don't know the numbers here but the largest irrigated crop in the USA is lawn grass. If we want to talk about more environmentally sensitive housing and development policies, we need to look at what we are mandating in terms of landscaping. More broadly than that though, our broader urban form has to be more compact so that we can have more people living in a smaller space. That's the only way we'll get decent environmental outcomes.

For the record, I don't know how much of what I've just said is actually within the scope of landscape boards (I suspect very little, if anything), and therefore the extent to which this is actually relevant to this consultation. But I felt the need to provide some balance here.

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Jane Paterson

21 Mar 2021

Your goal to increase urban tree canopy and the community’s concerns over tree canopy loss will never be reached unless the current tree laws change. I recently spoke to a Marion councilor who told me despite the council planting thousands more trees they've actually gone back wards in terms of tree canopy cover – this is due to there being no protection in law for our big trees. We have the lowest tree canopy cover of any Australian city, yet the planning and design Code released on 19th March, 2021 facilitates larger developments, the continued removal of big trees on both private and public land and increased infill developments. This will result in significant reductions in canopy cover, habitat loss and climate resilience. If there is any chance of the State Government reaching it’s target of a 20% increase of tree canopy cover by 2045 and Green Adelaide reaching it's goal then the protection for our big trees needs to be included in the Code.

Also the requirement to plant a reasonably sized tree as part of a proposed development should not be circumvented by paying money into a tree fund, as this would allow the erosion of tree canopy in that specific location. Requirements for minimum tree planting size and ongoing maintenance should be written into both Code policy and conditions of approval. The current tree replacement policy is farcical - just too many times the trees aren’t planted or die due to lack of watering or don’t thrive due to a warming climate. We’re losing big trees at an alarming rate, while Adelaide is getting hotter and drier and science shows we need these big trees more than ever.
Unless the above issues are addressed and the Code is amended to reflect these concerns, there will be an unacceptable loss of local character, amenity in our streets and our mature trees, which we know are extremely important to mitigate the effects of a warming climate. I and many others like me have written letters and lobbied to have the trees laws changed - I really hope you have better success than us.

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Janelle Brown

19 Mar 2021

Every Council in this state has screwed up in this area. The amount of Developments they have approved where the roads are tiny (not even a firetruck could get down some roads), no backyards or space around houses to keep them cooler (councils approved blocks that are too small and houses that fill an entire 200sqm block), allow cement boxes to be built as houses - no eaves for water catchment, no verandahs and again no yards to cool the outside of the house. The developers say oh but we will replace the green space with a couple of parks - small trees that take years to grow (no public toilets either but thats a separate issue) and these are left to die once the developers have moved on to their next heat inducing project. If you want to stop climate change and increase the canopy cover, then these type of developments need to stop. end of story. no more blocks less than 500sqms, no more houses going to the edges of those blocks, there needs to be mandatory space around each house to allow natural cooling. No more cement walled boxes built. There is simply no need for this. It is purely developer and Council greed. Australia does not need to start looking like New York, we have SPACE, lets use it wisely not greedily. You cannot stop climate change without overhauling the disastorous Planning and Design code that just came out (waste of time really) and overhauling the Councils who agree to allow hammerhead blocks, 200sqm blocks (one house demolished, 2 or more replace it) and Developments like Munno Para West, Blakeview, Roseworthy, Moana, Glenside, Norwood and dont get me started on Port Adelaide! so many many others that are the complete cause for the hot spots. it needs to stop.

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Rosanna Cent

19 Mar 2021

total agree with Tom Morrison, you want to remove all our existing trees, mainly Gum Trees, and where do our Koalas and other native animals who rely on the Gum Tree live? Furthermore why don't you look after these trees properly so that they can flourish and look good and be enjoyed by everyone, some of these trees are hundreds and hundreds year old, and No-One from the Govt gives a hoot ! typical Government to just destroy, remove, replace with something else that costs millions, and all they had to do was put the funds to look after what we already have to make it nicer and greener, we haven't had rain for months and everything needs water!

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Tom Morrison

18 Mar 2021

The goal "Increase the extent and quality of urban green cover" cannot be done without an overhaul of the current significant and regulated tree laws. The laws must be changed to prevent the hundreds of unnecessary removals each year. There is not enough room on public land to offset canopy loss on private land and increase our current levels of canopy.

Furthermore, the statement "Central to this will be encouraging new and infill developments to retain existing mature trees and plant new ones." will also not be possible without changes to the existing laws. The new Planning and Design Code's mandatory tree planting requirement for deemed to satisfy developments aimed to address this yet ended up being severely undermined with the introduction of an offset fund.

South Australia has the lowest levels of tree canopy coverage of any major city in Australia. This will have a severe impacts for us into the future given the role trees play in reducing the heat island, improving mental health, cleaning our air and providing habitat. Changes to the significant and regulated tree laws must be an outcome for the Green Adelaide Regional Landscape Plan.

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