My motion should have precedence because there is no doubt that the Baird Government has declared a war on trees.

We can see it on Anzac Parade and Alison Road, where the Government is chain-sawing beautiful 130-year old Moreton Bay and Port Jackson figs.    

We can see this war on trees in Lidcombe, where the Government has felled dozens and dozens of fig and gum trees to expand the M4, despite a written commitment to residents that it would not do so.

We can see it in WestConnex, where this Government will destroy 350 trees in the beautiful Sydney Park, as well as trees in streets and parks throughout Haberfield and Ashfield, including in Reg Coady Reserve in my electorate.    

Most concerning of all, we see it in this Government's commitment to broadscale land clearing that will severely deplete our biodiversity.


This motion must be given precedence because these precious trees will, as with so much of our heritage, be gone—and we will not be able to get them back.

We must debate this issue now, because there are alternatives to cutting down trees. But the Government stubbornly refuses to listen.     


Opposition members understand that investing in infrastructure and saving our heritage is not an either/or proposition.

We understand the need for infrastructure, but we also understand the importance of trees to our ecosystems and to our environment.

Trees are crucial to our health, they are crucial to our vitality and they help to reduce greenhouse gases.


The Government's so-called biodiversity Act waters down Labor's strong initiatives that saved thousands of hectares from land clearing and led to an estimated 53,000 fewer animals dying each year.

This Government's plan is to open our environment to the kind of rampant destruction and land clearing that we saw in Queensland.

In our cities, trees are too often the only connection we have to the natural environment.

In one of his first statements as the new Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt committed the Turnbull Government to working with cities to increase our urban canopy.

That message is clearly not getting through to this Government.


If only this Government consulted, it would understand that there is another way.     

Local councils, local groups and the Labor Opposition have put forward sensible alternatives to cutting down these trees and have received no response.

We can invest in infrastructure while also saving trees. This is not an either/or discussion. There is an alternative to this war on trees.