Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 440
Macquarie ACT 2614
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council
PO Box 90
Queanbeyan NSW 2620
Amendment South Jerrabomberra Development Control Plan
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.
Since its inception, FOG has had an interest in the conservation values of the Poplars and South Jerrabomberra. This includes submissions to Council concerning the rezoning of the Poplars in 1995 and the South Jerrabomberra DCP in 2014, and recently to the Commonwealth concerning EPBC referral 2020/8801 for commercial development at the Poplars.
Map 1A in Appendix 3 shows the proposed residential area abutting areas designated as having environmental constraints along a very irregular boundary. Urban development adjacent to conservation reserves introduces risks that are well documented risks, including an increased likelihood of impacts such as nutrient and sediment run off into the adjacent conservation area, spread of weeds and urban planting escapees, an increase in pest birds and mammals with resultant predation on wildlife, accidental damage during construction, and increased use by people. Such risks are magnified when the boundary is longer because it is irregular, as is the case here. A fundamental component of good urban design adjacent to areas of environmental values is to minimise edge effects and to not increase fragmentation within the area of environmental values.
As well, no mention is made of bushfire management zones. In map 2, there is a potential service road along the bottom half of the development area that will add some buffering between the development and the conservation area. However, the top half of the development area immediately abuts the conservation area. In FOG’s view it is essential that any bushfire management zones be included in the development footprint and not in any area of conservation or environmental value, since biodiversity management and bushfire management of an area often differ.
11 January 2021