Friends of Grasslands

supporting native grassy ecosystems

PO Box 440
Jamison Centre
Macquarie ACT 2614

email: advocacy@fog.org.au
web: www.fog.org.au

Statement of Planning Intent Project Team
Planning Invstigations Branch
Environment and Planning Directorate
GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601
email: epdplanningintent@act.gov.au

 

Dear Sir/Madam

Statement of Planning Intent: guiding planning priorities for Canberra

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’s major concern in relation to future planning priorities for Canberra is how they might impact upon our endangered grassy ecosystems and dependent species, which are a significant component of the ACT’s natural heritage. FOG sees the following as important components of any Canberra planning priorities:

  1. Consult with community and ensure there is a balance achieved between environmental, social, economic, cultural and other values;
  2. Apply a strategic environmental (and social and economic) assessment to every area, and identify and protect areas of conservation value (site specific and landscape values such as connectivity and resilience) prior to development;
  3. Ensure every district has identified areas to be retained as open space/reserve;
  4. Ensure street and open space plantings are appropriate, in particular that they do not introduce new weeds into nearby reserves and conservation areas;
  5. Ensure new suburbs are cat-contained and move towards enforcing cat-containment in existing suburbs, prioritising those adjacent to reserves and other conservation areas;
  6. Provide adequate open space to be used for recreation, dog walking etc. to limit pressures and impacts on conservation areas;
  7. Ensure opportunities for locals to participate in conservation management;
  8. Provide well researched signage to educate locals, especially about the interface between conservation areas and residential areas, including district and other parks. Signage and other information about conservation, appropriate species in residential gardens etc. should start before any builder digs foundations – i.e. at the time of house/land purchase – so residents receive appropriate information from the initial purchase decision;
  9. Ensure that all buffer zones for bushfire management or similar are contained within development footprints rather than in areas of conservation value; and
  10. Route linking roads and other infrastructure around rather than through areas of conservation value.

Yours sincerely

 

Sarah Sharp
President
2 April 2015