Friends of Grasslands

supporting native grassy ecosystems

PO Box 440
Jamison Centre
Macquarie ACT 2614


Cathryn Saunders
Strategic Planning Coordinator
Parks and Conservation
Territory and Municipal Services Directorate
GPO Box 158 Canberra ACT 2601
email: to


Dear Ms Saunders

Design Standards for Urban Infrastructure Revisions (MIS 16, 20, 23 and 24)

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.

We became aware of the draft revisions to the Design Standards when the Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers (AILDM) was approached for comment as one of our members is also a member of AILDM. We hope you are happy to receive comments from us.

We are pleased to note that the standards raise awareness of the need to foster and protect biodiversity by requiring design and plant selection to respond to environmentally sensitive areas. It is important too that designs in open urban space areas will provide for maintenance that is compatible with natural values (e.g. mowing standards and procedures in neighbourhood parks with remnant vegetation or isolated remnant trees).

FOG understands that the list of plants for urban landscape projects (MIS 25 Plant species for urban landscape projects) is being revised. We would very much welcome the opportunity to comment on the draft Standard when it is available. We would urge that consideration be given to including in the Standard a section on ‘edge species’ to ensure selection of suitable plants for projects adjacent to nature parks and other environmentally sensitive areas such as natural temperate grasslands.

Yours sincerely




Sarah Sharp
19 February 2015