November 26, 2014 3 Comments
Poor old Freo has copped a bit of flack over the last week for not doing so well in the recent VISION 202020 report that analysed 139 local governments in Australia and found that Freo had above average hard-surfaces and less tree canopy and green space. (For the record, it is not correct to say that the Freo is the second most hard-surface council in our country. The City of Belmont, City of Maribyrnong, City of Wyndham, City of Melton, City of Hume, City of Brimbank, City of Greater Dandenong, City of Hobsons Bay, and City of Casey were all worse in some readings than Freo.)
The report’s methodology means that it included all the Fremantle Port’s hard surface (with few trees) in its calculations which obviously shifted the results.
It made me reflect on how far Freo has come in recent decades though in greening our streets etc. In 1979 the Fremantle Gazette quoted the Fremantle Society’s “lament for the lack of trees lining the streets of Fremantle…” The Freo Society were clearly ahead of their time in this article and their green vision for Freo.
That said VISION 202020 is a great report which I think this actually reinforces the Fremantle Council ‘s push around more tree planting, greening etc. The City of Fremantle has planted around 4000 tress in the last 4 years around Fremantle and the Fremantle community plenty more on top of that. There is plenty more to be done and the new Green Plan Working Group I am sure will come up with some great ideas.
But we should also acknowledge how far we have some and that these things can’t be turned around overnight. But this aerial view fro m the 1980s – with barely a tree in sight – shows how far we have come.