Rural Fringe June 2014 - Ginninderra Falls and Murrumbidgee River parkland corridors (p 24)

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The Rural Fringe is published by the Village of Hall and District Progress Association. Download the full June 2014 edition here.


Ginninderra Falls and Murrumbidgee River parkland corridors

Chris Watson president Ginninderra Falls Association

Ever since earliest colonial explorers made forays into the Canberra region, the Ginninderra Creek catchment area has been an important link between the 19th century settlements around Yass and Lake George to the north and the Limestone Plains and Monaro regions to the south. The catchment was first sighted by Charles Throsby in 1820 on a reconnaissance expedition from the Lake George area.

Part of the Robert Dixon property map, published 1837
Part of the Robert Dixon property map, published 1837
National Library of Australia

Between the years 1830 and 1836, the colonial surveyor Robert Hoddle made several visits to the district to survey property boundaries. Hoddle was also an accomplished artist and his 1835 sketch of the Ginninderra Falls is instantly recognisable today. The Ginninderra Gorge area has been identified as a place of significant natural beauty for at least 180 years and a recreational drawcard for visitors.

Robert Hoddle sketch of Ginninderra Falls, 1835
Robert Hoddle sketch of Ginninderra Falls, 1835 
National Library of Australia 

George Thomas Palmer established ‘Palmerville’ about 1826 and by the time the map of surveyor Robert Dixon was published in 1837, many blocks of land had been claimed along Ginninderra Creek. The ‘Parkwood’ property and homestead are still occupied today.

Fast forward over 180 years and the beautiful countryside around the Ginninderra Falls and adjacent Murrumbidgee River in NSW is, unfortunately, not now accessible by the general public despite some good attempts by the landowner to create a wildlife park and walking trails in years gone by.

In the last two years the Ginninderra Falls Association has been making representations to the ACT and NSW governments and the Yass Valley Council aimed at restoring public access to the Ginninderra Falls area and adjacent Murrumbidgee River corridor in NSW.

Ginninderra Falls
Ginninderra Falls 

In recent months we have seen proposals by the Riverview Group for a West Belconnen urban development in both the ACT and NSW. (see related article). The Ginninderra Falls Association regards this as an ideal opportunity to create significant public parkland along both the Ginninderra Creek and the Murrumbidgee River.

The West Belconnen urban proposal will likely be on public display at the end of June 2014 (see map in related article). We would encourage local residents to make submissions regarding the desirability of such corridors and any other matters of concern related to the development. Riverview Pty Ltd will host a public meeting regarding the development at the Hall Pavilion on Wednesday 25 June 2014.

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