Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 987
Civic Square ACT 2608
Standing Committee on Planning,
Public Works and TAMS
ACT Legislative Assembly Secretariat
Ph: 02 620 50435
Inquiry into Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No. 299 – Lawson South: Introduction of a Structure Plan, a Concept Plan and Zone Changes
Thank you for the invitation to comment on the Committee’s inquiry into Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No. 299 – Lawson South: Introduction of a Structure Plan, a Concept Plan and Zone Changes. While Friends of Grasslands (FOG) has nothing further to add to its original submission, we would to know the final outcome of some of the issues raised in that submission. In particular, we would like to know details of how the proposed ACT biodiversity offset approach (“being developed for the consideration of the ACT Government”) will be applied to this situation, given that the development process is proceeding prior to public dissemination of the Government’s offset approach. Some information is provided in the recent EPBC referral for this area, but this was not a firm offset proposal. In FOG’s view, offsets should actually be in place before a development commences. As well, offsets should continue for as long as the development continues to have an impact, which in this case will be in perpetuity, i.e. any offset offered should include not just reservation of land but also ongoing conservation management and guaranteed funding of that management in perpetuity.
FOG is disappointed that this development project has advanced to the stage of planning the location of roads and blocks, and forwarding a referral for consideration under the EPBC Act without taking the opportunity for follow-up surveys of threatened species to supplement the original ecological assessments. As a result of this, significant habitat areas of quality grass- and woodland are likely to be lost.
If it would be useful, FOG could appear as a witness at a public hearing of the Committee. In this case, please contact Naarilla Hirsch (phone 62. . . . . . or email firstname.lastname@example.org) to make the arrangements.
9 July 2010