Friends of Grasslands

supporting native grassy ecosystems


PO Box 987

Civic Square ACT 2608

Phone: 02 62.. ....



Mr Craddock Morton


National Museum of Australia

GPO Box 1901



Dear Sir


In July one of our office bearers was informally approached by a consultant working on behalf of the Museum to provide initial views on the option of locating a new storage facility at Yarramundi Reach. The FOG representative indicated that we would consult and respond with more considered views, but we have not had the opportunity to do so. Consequently I am writing now to offer our opinions on the proposal.


Friends of Grasslands is a community group based in Canberra and region, and our mission is to promote the conservation of threatened indigenous grassy ecosystems.  Under a partnership agreement with the National Capital Authority, FOG is providing volunteer assistance to restore the native temperate grasslands at Yarramundi Reach. This grassland ecosystem and a number of threatened species recorded from the site are listed as matters of national environmental significance under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. FOGs’ work on site thus far involves weed control and scientific monitoring activities. FOG is also involved in the Southern Tablelands Ecosystem Project (STEP) to establish on disturbed lands a garden of indigenous plants as part of the adjacent Arboretum development.


We are under the impression that the Museum is considering proposing the establishment of a facility on the former pine plantation section of Yarramundi Reach. We are not aware of the size of the facility proposed, nature of activities to be carried out there, or whether visitors are anticipated to access the facility.


FOG’s first concern is the conservation of all of the remaining native temperate grassland on the larger, eastern half of the Yarramundi Reach site. Conservation of this site would require that:


Having said this, and even if a development proposal could meet the above conditions, we consider that the disturbed lands at Yarramundi Reach are a poor choice of location for a museum storage facility:

FOG is very sympathetic to the Museum’s demand for better storage facilities, but we consider that such a facility would be better located in other parts of Canberra.


Thank you for the early opportunity to put our views on this proposal. For further information please contact FOG’s Yarramundi Reach project coordinator, Mr Jamie Pittock, on 0407 265 131 or


Sincerely yours



Geoff Robertson


14 August 2009


cc. Mr Gary Rake, National Capital Authority