Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 440
Macquarie ACT 2614
Environment Assessment Branch
Department of the Environment
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Construction of a link road on Majura Parkway, Pialligo
Reference Number: 2015/7483
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 has a long-standing interest in the Natural Temperate Grassland (NTG) and associated endangered fauna in the Majura Valley, has responded to earlier referrals concerning the Majura Parkway development, and is a member of the Majura Parkway Stakeholder Reference Group.
FOG notes that this proposal replaces an earlier alignment with greater impact on threatened species in the area, and that the construction phase is timed to avoid Striped Legless Lizard (SLL) breeding season. As the proposed road cuts the southern sub-population of SLL in two, FOG supports the proposed SLL mitigation. Despite the referral arguing that this is not an important population, the presence of the link road and separation of the population, may result in unviability of this sub-population . Consequently, FOG strongly supports the proposed mitigation program for both the SLL and the Golden Sun Moth.
While the initial development for which this link road is necessary did not need to be assessed due to the poor quality of the vegetation on the IKEA site, in FOG’s view the impact of the link road should have been included as part of the initial approval of the development. The argument that the link road is now essential has only arisen because the true environmental impact of the IKEA development was not ascertained at the time of initial approval. Other such developments should not be approved until the ACT Government releases its draft Eastern Broadacre Strategic Assessment and the community has had the opportunity to input to it.
The mitigation package should also include protection of the adjoining NTG from accidental impacts during construction, e.g. by fencing off the construction site.
8 June 2015