Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 987
Civic Square ACT 2608
Phone: 02 62.. ....
Planning and Land Policy Section
ACT Planning and Land Authority
GPO Box 1908
CANBERRA ACT 2601
I am writing to provide Friends of Grasslands (FoG) comments on the Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No. 261 North Watson.
FoG is a community group dedicated to the conservation of natural temperate grassy ecosystems in south eastern Australia. FoG advocates, educates and advises on matters to do with conservation of grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on‑ground work. FoG is based in Canberra and its more than 200 members include professional scientists, landowners, land managers and interested members of the public.
The site of the proposed redevelopment is of interest to FoG because it is adjacent to the endangered ecological community of Yellow Box / Red Gum woodland (YBRGW) on Mount Majura. FoG is also aware that mature trees on the site are of habitat value to a threatened bird species, the Regent Honeyeater.
FoG is concerned that the Conservator of Flora and Fauna's comments on the proposal (at 2.8.1) are inadequate. The Conservator should at least have made mention of the particular habitat values of the 'significant trees'. Other aspects of the proposal that may affect the YBRGW and should be considered are:
- not just protection of the healthy mature trees, but recognition of the site as now adjacent to (but originally part of) the YBRGW in landscaping treatments (e.g. retention of as much of the remaining vegetation as possible such as through enhancement/replacement of existing trees, use of other RBRGW species in plantings, avoidance of weedy species and landscaping materials)
- inclusion of a manageable and appropriately landscaped buffer within the redevelopment area to provide for fire fuel reduction on the edge between the residences and CNP - e.g. this could use non-woody YBRGW species
- mitigation of any likely negative impacts of the development phase on the CNP Majura edge (i.e. this should not be driven over, parked on or used for storage of construction materials)
- restriction of cats in the proposed residences, given the site's location in a woodland corridor and as a known breeding location for the Regent Honeyeater.
FoG looks forward to ACTPLA addressing these concerns in finalising this proposal.
(Mr) Kim Pullen
26 November 2007