The heat keeps coming. It is, afterall, summer.
A new heatwave is building in the Pilbara, where temperatures could hit 50 degrees this week. The red heart of Australia is acting as a furnace, with the south eastern states braced for a blast of heat from Thursday.
If you’re after a bit of cool at the weekend your best best will be to flee to the Great Ocean Road. There the temperatures will in the mid-20s – compared to an expected top of 39 degrees in Bendigo – as the heatwave passes it by.
This hot summer weather is nothing new and we’ve always battled to cope. Thick walls and wide verandahs gave way to air conditioners and pools in the search of relief.
But as our population grew towns and cities heated up, with poor housing construction and lack of trees a potentially deadly heat combination. Each year more people present at hospital with heat-related ailments.
Smaller blocks, meaning houses are closer together, have left less room for greenery – for either grass or trees. The green spaces in many new developments lag behind the building rate – it can take years for trees to mature, long after occupants have settled in.
202020 Vision is seeking 20 per cent more green spaces to help counteract heat strees. A survery from the group found Bendigo was badly in need of urban greening. It is predicted that 44 percent of Bendigo’s trees will be lost in the next decade as European varieties and their shade canopy reach the end of their natural lifespan.
The green oases of spaces like Bendigo’s Rosalind Park, Castlemaine’s Botanical Gardens and Daylesford’s Wombat Hill Botanic gardens have not been replicated over the years as towns grew.
They were primarily seen as an aesthetic pleasure, not heat reducers. The recent expansion of the Bendigo Botanical Garden is a step towards extra greening, but more help is needed.
With the the Loddon Mallee’s average temperature set rise by up to 1.3 degrees by 2020, everybody needs to play their part. It’s time that we all planted a tree.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.