Planet Ark National Tree Day

(11.30am, Saturday 28 July 2013, Sydney Park)

Thank you, Anna, [Bowden, Planet Ark]. Hello, everyone, it's great to see you all here. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

Today is a really significant landmark. Today, we'll be planting the 20 millionth seedling since Planet Ark launched National Tree Day in 1996. That is quite an achievement and it's wonderful to see in this City park the flourishing trees planted in years past by participants like yourselves.

All of you will be leaving a legacy here today, continuing the transformation of what was a bare industrial wasteland to a thriving park.

Planet Ark's National Tree Day has been an important part of that. Over the years, we've planted trees, groundcovers and shrubs, building the park's diversity and providing habitat for native creatures and birds.

So Sydney Park is now not only a beautiful haven for relaxation and play but it helps clean our air and promote biodiversity within the City. It provides active play space for City children, and places for people to come together and enjoy all the benefits of community activity.

Today's theme - "Get Outside and Grow" - signals the many positive elements of outdoor activity - the physical, psychological and social benefits we all experience.

The City has a strong commitment to providing and improving our urban parks and playgrounds so that everyone in our community can enjoy those benefits. We're also providing opportunities for residents to expand their outdoor living while growing their own food in community gardens across the LGA.

So on behalf of the City, I'd like to thank everyone who gets their hands in the soil and adds to our living green heritage, and to all of you here today who'll be planting the green heritage of the future.

I'd also like to acknowledge Toyota who once again have joined the City in supporting this National Tree Day.

Have a great day, everyone.