In his 45-year career in the finance industry Kerry planned and managed major corporate and state and federal government tenders and projects and he participated in expert panels informing, in part, government policy. Following his retirement, in 2019 he was encouraged by his local government councillor brother to attend TREENET’s 20th National Street Tree Symposium. The opportunity to benefit communities and the environment was so clearly presented at the symposium that upon return home Kerry’s focus shifted to how he could support his council’s urban forest management for the benefit of his community.
Treenet Symposium Speaker
Project financing approach for the urban forest: A resident’s perspective
The City of Glen Eira recognised it needed urgent action to increase its urban forest canopy cover. Community members engaged with council to improve their urban forest and a project finance approach was developed and applied to grass-roots community urban forestry. Modelling tree volumes, undertaking costings, informing budgets and implementation, and aggregation of more than 20 separate project components into financial planning ensured a successful commencement of the Urban Forest Strategy (UFS). Community input led to annual budgets and long-term financial plans being revised to deliver an expanded list of 65 actions. Funding for 2022/23 increased by $1.35 million for tree planting and replacement and $4 million for ongoing urban forest expansion. The UFS’s success now underpins components of other strategies, including projects of the City’s Open Space Strategy Refresh 2020, the Community Wellbeing Plan 2020 – 2025 and the Our Climate Emergency Response Strategy 2021–2025.