WATCA Response to Perth & Peel Urban Greening Strategy Survey

Response to the WA Government's Perth & Peel Urban Green Strategy

Perth is in Tree Canopy Crisis with the lowest tree canopy in Australia and, unlike other capital cities, no tree protections.  The accepted minimum healthy canopy cover is 30% - Perth has 16% and it's dropping fast.
Increasing public pressure has seen the WA Government begin developing an Urban Greening Strategy to "explore various elements aimed at enhancing tree canopy and creating more green spaces across the Perth and Peel regions".
While WATCA welcomes any initiatives to address urban canopy loss in WA, with 80% of our trees being lost on private land, any strategy that does not protect trees on private land will be a failure, and will allow unabated canopy loss to continue.

Urban Tree loss is very bad news for our communities.  It means hotter suburbs, higher power and water use, greater car use, reduced biodiversity, less time spent outdoors, and poorer physical & mental health outcomes.

The WA government says the following items could be considered in its strategy:

  • Government grant programs, events and incentives
  • Public education program
  • Expanding successful planting and tree programs (PUBLIC LAND ONLY)
  • Improved tree canopy data (no new Perth canopy data since 2020!)
  • Partnering with local government and community group

To be very clear - the government's proposed strategy will NOT consider trees on private land so will do NOTHING to save 80% of our trees!

All West Australians are invited to provide feedback via the Urban Greening Survey, which closes on 7 June 2024.

This is a chance to have YOUR SAY on the future liveability of your suburbs and city.  Let the government know that Perth must urgently implement:

  • Large Tree Protections on Private Land 
  • A 30% by 2040 Tree Canopy Target

Below are the questions from the Urban Greening Survey.   Before you zip off to complete it, we've provided some suggested responses in blue. Please share the survey with your networks to let the government know that Perth's Tree Canopy Crisis must be addressed before it's too late.

Urban Greening Public Survey

Q1. Suburb

Your response.

Q2. Connection to Perth

Your response.

Q3. On a scale of 1 to 10 how green (vegetation wise) do you currently think the Perth and Peel regions are? Additional comments to explain your response can be added.

A:  1/10 Perth and Peel has the lowest tree canopy cover of any capital city in Australia.

Q4. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your support for additional urban greening in the Perth and Peel regions. Additional comments to explain your response can be added.

A:  10/10. Urgent Government action must be taken to protect our existing large trees on private land, where 80% of Perth's tree loss is occurring. Without protections on private land and a Tree Canopy Target, Perth will not be liveable for our future children and grandchildren.

Q5. What do you consider the most important benefits of urban greening?  List of options to be numbered 1 to 10. Other options can be added.

A: Some more tree benefits you could add are: 

  • Trees absorb carbon and help to mitigate climate change 
  • Trees give us oxygen
  • Trees provide better health outcomes
  • Trees increase the value of our homes
  • Trees improve water quality
  • Trees reduce stormwater runoff
  • Trees create a sense of community 
  • Q6. Have you heard of the “urban heat island effect” and its consequences for the community?

    Your response. Find out more about the Urban Heat Island Effect here

    Q7. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the current level of tree canopy cover in your suburb?

    You choose.

    Q7a. Which suburb did you rate?

    Your response.

    Q8. Do you support increasing the number of trees in your suburb?

    A: YES!!!  Perth is in Tree Canopy Crisis with the lowest canopy in Australia.  We must preserve large trees on private land to make any genuine difference in increasing trees.

    Q9. Thinking of anywhere in Perth and Peel region, where would you like to see more trees or other vegetation planted?

    List of options.  Others can be added.

    A: Tick ALL, except “we don’t need more trees”

    Q10. How many trees (above approximately 2m) do you have in your front or back garden or front verge?

    Your response.

    Q11. What are barriers that prevent you from planting a tree or more trees in your front or back yard or on your front verge?

    Your response.

    Q12. Have you removed a tree front or back yard or on your front verge in the last 5 years?

    Your response.

    Q12a. Why was the tree was removed?

    List of options, others can be added.

    Your response.

    Q13. Is there anything else you would like to say about trees in your nominated suburb or Perth and Peel?


    The DPLH, WAPC and WALGA all agree that implementing tree protections on private property is necessary for WA towns and cities to have acceptable levels of canopy. 

    Perth and Peel are in Canopy Crisis with 80% of tree loss occurring on private land; the Government MUST regulate trees on private land if it is serious about urban greening.

    I call on the WA State Government to urgently:

  • Regulate the removal of large trees on all urban land; and
  • Commit to a 30% by 2040 Tree Canopy Target across Perth, Peel and other regional centres

  • Q14. What topics would you like to know more about.

    Your response.

    Q15.  Where have you seen some good examples of tree / canopy education or retention initiatives? These can be in Australia or internationally.

    Your response.

    Back to blog