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We know Canberrans highly value trees, shrubs, and green spaces as features that contribute to a liveable suburb. Trees have always been an important part of what makes Canberra a great place to live, work, and play. Trees also provide significant environmental benefits and play a key role in cooling our suburbs through their shade.

From 1 January 2024 new laws will provide greater protection for Canberra’s trees. The Urban Forest Act 2023 will repeal and replace the Tree Protection Act 2005. The new laws will help increase the number of trees and the canopy cover throughout our city.

As Canberra grows and evolves and our climate changes, our city’s trees will be increasingly important. The time is right to renew and expand our urban forest in the face of these challenges.

We have set a clear direction for the future of Canberra in which trees will continue to have an important role. The Climate Change Strategy and Living Infrastructure Plan, both released in September 2019, set a tree canopy cover target of 30 per cent by 2045.

Achieving this target will involve changes to the way the ACT Government manages our urban forest, including trees both on public land and on private land. The Urban Forest Strategy, released in 2021, will continue to guide the growth and care of our urban forest.