Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 440
Macquarie ACT 2614
Phone: 02 62.. ....
GPO Box 158 CANBERRA ACT 2601
Mugga Lane Landfill extension Environmental Impact Statement
Friends of Grasslands (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 the conservation of grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on-ground work. FOG is based in Canberra and its members include professional scientists, landowners, land managers and interested members of the public.
FOG provided a submission to Purdon Associates concerning this development, dated 4 December 2012 and cited in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). As stated in this submission, in principle FOG is opposed to any development that impacts upon endangered Box-Gum Woodland. However, FOG recognizes that this development may be necessary, given that space at the existing landfill facility is expected to be full in a couple of years.
FOG notes that many of its concerns outlined in that submission are in the mitigation measures in sections 12.4.1 and 12.6 of the EIS, and supports all of the mitigation measures proposed. In relation to table 93 Draft Statement of Commitments, FOG thinks that the response to the Conservator of Flora and Fauna that clearing of hollow bearing trees would be undertaken between April and July (see table 56) (which also addresses one of FOG’s expressed concerns) should be added to this table.
FOG accepts that the proposed environmental offset for development has the potential to provide a positive outcome in the longer term, provided that restoration attempts on the offset block are successful. In relation to the proposed offset site, FOG supports the recommendations proposed for the offset site in section 12.4.2. FOG notes that these activities, particularly weed management, will be in addition to existing measures being undertaken in the adjoining Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve. This is essential as existing resources to manage Canberra Nature Park are already stretched and there is no capacity for additional areas to be managed without additional resources. We reiterate our view that funds need to be set aside for management of the offset block in the long term. For example, a special-purpose Trust fund could be created, with the interest earned used for ongoing management. It is important that such funds do not disappear into general Government revenue and consequently potentially be subject to budget cuts by future Governments.
FOG also notes that monitoring and reporting of the management activities and rehabilitation of the offset site will be part of the offset package. We would like the results of this monitoring to be made available to interested groups such as FOG in the future.
Management of a fire break to the northern boundary (as mentioned in section 17.4.1) should be done in sympathy with the conservation values of the area, and not include removal of further mature trees.
John Fitz Gerald
6 March 2013