Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 440
Macquarie ACT 2614
UCPH Project Manager
Health Infrastructure Program
Level 1, Building 23, Canberra Hospital
Garran ACT 2605
Dear Mr True
Environmental assessment of site for the University of Canberra Public Hospital
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.
In looking at this environmental assessment, FOG notes that, while the Golden Sun Moth (GSM) has not been found on the block under consideration, it has been found on an adjacent block. Development of this block would preclude expansion of that GSM population in the future if the habitat quality of the block improved. FOG also notes that, while much of the block is in poor or moderate quality box-gum grassy woodland, there are some better quality patches which conceivably could form the core for future regeneration of the block. FOG is also aware that, in the past, there have been scattered patches of better quality vegetation, including some less common species such as Bulbine bubosa and Eryngium ovinum. Good management in the past might have resulted in a higher quality site now. In other words, while the block is marginal, it has rehabilitation potential, an important consideration with a critically endangered community such as box-gum woodland.
For this reason, while FOG accepts that the block may be developed because of the social and other benefits of the proposed hospital, we support the proposed offset site in the Preliminary Documentation. Although the proposed corridor is interrupted by William Hovell Drive, the proposed offset site will play an important role in maintaining vegetation and habitat continuity across the landscape. FOG asks that the offset package include sufficient resources to improve the quality of the offset site in the short term, together with ongoing resources for its long term management.
26 June 2014