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

EPBC Public Portal

William Hovell Drive Shared User Path Coulter Dr to Bindubi St ACT (EPBC number. 2022/09238)

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 native 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.

The proposed development by Transport for Canberra and City Services Directorate is likely to affect large eucalypts at its eastern end of the site that act as a buffer zone to other mature eucalypt woodlands to the north. Throughout the remainder of the planned construction site, weeds are an ongoing issue.

At this stage in the development, FOG suggests four points be included in a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP):

  1. Weed management is a major commitment right through the already degraded road reserve as part of the project. This includes measures to avoid all threat of new invasions to either Mount Painter Nature Reserve or the areas of Yellow Box-Red Gum Grassy Woodland to north of the eastern section.
  2. Sensitive design and construction are used at the eastern end to keep loss of significant eucalypts to an absolute minimum. Every loss means that the remaining fragmented community is more vulnerable, and its value for bird movement, shelter, and nesting is diminished.
  3. The area within the reserve and any clumps of trees adjacent to the shared path should be fenced off to prevent inadvertent damage from vehicles, dumping, or materials.
  4. Mitigation and offsets are designed and implemented. For the most easterly 600 metres of the planned cycle path, areas of mature eucalypts have been mapped to the immediate north in a 100 to 150 m wide zone. That mapped woodland also contains large woody weeds and herbaceous weeds. Any native timber cut to accomplish path creation should be relocated into this mature-eucalypt woodland as habitat. As partial mitigation for loss of any native trees in the construction zone, opportunity should be taken to remove the woody weeds, control other weeds, and plant new native shrubs and ground layer in mapped woodland. Offsets could involve relinking these three to four small woodland fragments by planting suitable local species into areas between them (mapped as native grassland). Offsets could also include areas of Mt Painter Nature Reserve.

Yours sincerely

 

Professor Jamie Pittock
President

31 August 2022