Send your submission on the urban development at West Belconnen in the ACT & NSW
Urban development and a regional park is proposed in NSW and the ACT around the confluence of Ginninderra Creek and the Murrumbidgee River. This area includes the Ginninderra Falls. With respect to the new park we need to:
- restore public access to the Ginninderra Creek and Murrumbidgee River corridors and Ginninderra Falls and
- create a sustainable public park for recreational, educational and ecological purposes.
The new urban development and park has to be sensitive to endangered flora and fauna as well as being attractive to regional communities in the ACT and Yass and suitable for ecotourism generally.
A strategic assessment (EPBC SA024) of the likely impacts of development is being conducted under Part 10 of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Public submissions close on 10 June 2016. Some points to consider include
- Maintaining larger connected areas will mitigate likely impacts of the development on listed species including the Pink Tailed Worm Lizard; the Spotted-tailed Quoll; the Rosenberg's Goanna; the Little Eagle; Scarlet and Flame Robins and those sensitive to urbanisation, such as, the red-necked wallaby. The buffers along the river corridor are too narrow in NSW. The narrow river corridor and adjacent urbanisation will impact all listed species. Further assessment is required to establish an appropriate delineation of the river corridor in NSW.
- The project area contains highly significant environmental values including the upper and lower Ginninderra Falls; Ginninderra Gorge and Murrumbidgee River. The current NSW E3 zoning is applied to land with special ecological, scientific, cultural or aesthetic attributes or environmental hazards or processes requiring careful consideration and management. Several EPBC listed species that occur or are highly likely to occur in the area are either not dealt with at all or in sufficient detail in the assessment. For example, Pale Pomaderris, Spotted-tailed Quoll, Superb and Painted Parrot. The project suggests reducing the known habitat of the Pink Tailed Worm Lizard.
- Extensive infrastructure works are proposed eg sewage, roads, recreational and tourist facilities and a ten hectare recreational reserve. Approval by the Commonwealth should be withheld until more detail is provided.
- Ginninderra is a Ngunawal word for “sparkling water”. The area was used extensively by aboriginal families and groups and remains a significant living cultural site of Aboriginal heritage. Development of the area must be compatible with the ability of future generations to connect with this cultural treasure.
Take action below to add your comments. We have not finalised our own submission yet but some draft points have been made below. Please update the message to add your own concerns.