Murrumbidgee - Ginninderra Gorges National Park: Information Note 36

Winter General Meeting (and AGM)

The guest speaker for our Winter General Meeting will be Barrie Virtue on the topic of "Where the Murrumbidgee's Flowing....from the mountains to the sea". Details are:

Venue Kippax Public Library
Date 15 August 2015
Time 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Please note that this meeting will also include our Annual General Meeting. There will be the usual Committee reports and elections for all positions. If you wish to nominate for any position, or nominate some else, please email the Public Officer (who happens to be me).

Parkwood (West Belconnen) Development Applications

The committee is preparing a submission on the two recent Development Applications relating to the ACT portion of the newly proposed Parkwood urban plan. Public submissions may be made up untill close of business 6 July 2015. We will endeavor to lodge our submission by Thursday 2 July. A copy will be on the website so that you can see the committee's comments. Everybody is encouraged to add their own written comments by:

  • emailing to
  • posting to Territory Plan Comments, GPO Box 158, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • delivering to EPD'S Customer Service Centre at 16 Challis Street, Dickson.

The gist of our remarks will be to confirm that the overall thrust of the rezoning remains inline with our Murrumbidgee - Ginninderra Gorges National Park. The development applications strongly recognizes the importance of the surrounding "hills, ridges and buffer zone". This area to the north and west is in NSW and includes the very significant Ginninderra Falls themselves. We certainly agree with this assessment and so would add that, before these development applications proceed, a firm commitment has to be obtained from NSW that these areas to the north and west are appropriately retained.

The Conservator of Flora and Fauna commented that the proposed extension of Ginninderra Drive means a loss of the Golden Sun Moth habitat. This issue has to be resolved. Another important issue to be completed is the work currently being done regarding water run-off from the new urban areas.

Finally we are concerned that there has been insufficient research into the indigenous heritage of the area. The Murrumbidgee River is an important thouroughfare and the Ginninderra Gorge a major natural feature. It would be derelict to presume that this has not been so determined for many generations.

Environmental Defenders Office (ACT)

Text from the Environmental Defenders Office - ACT:

The EDO ACT were left out of the ACT ALP/Green Government’s budget. This makes the closure of our office an almost certainty and with it will end free community access to legal advice on environmental law. We have provided our important service for over 20 years and when we are gone no one else will be around to bridge the gap.

Luckily some of the EDO ACT’s committed supporters also disagree with the Government’s decision to lock out the EDO’s expertise from the environmental debate. We have friends who acknowledge the importance of protecting our community’s health and ensuring the promised environmental protections are actually delivered.

If you donate to us before 30 June 2015 then some of our committed supporters will match your donation, dollar for dollar, up until the amount of $1000 each. All donations are tax-deductible.

We all know the ACT has a fairly decent framework when it comes to the environment, but it is complex and sometimes difficult to navigate. If you wanted to have your say, would you know where to start? Would you be confident that you had all your bases covered? The EDO helps landholders, individuals and community groups to understand and act on their legal rights, to have their say when it comes to developments impacting their environment and to ensure the environmental protection laws are being fairly and properly applied.

And we are sure you would agree that some things are not negotiable, such as the absolute right not only to have your say, but to have equal access to the opportunity to do so. Our society is built on these fundamental principles. It shouldn’t be a privilege, but when the EDO is gone who will represent the voices speaking for the environment? Who will support community groups wanting to protect threatened species and people who wish to question whether a development close to their land is going ahead in line with the law? As ordinary people trying to participate in the legal system, how would you have your voice heard? Especially when wanting to question a developer with their well-resourced legal team?

Access to justice is the cornerstone of a fair and just society like ours. Any reasonable person (and government for that matter) will agree that, especially with legal matters, it is right for both sides to be able to access adequate support and legal representation.

The EDO ACT is the one place that helps ordinary people gain access to justice by assisting them with legal representation and providing them with legal education so that they know exactly where they stand in the law.

The EDO’s voices are being silenced at a time when our communities need it most, there are contentious projects in the development pipeline and they affect many communities as well as the environment. Please help us keep the EDO’s voice heard.


Darryl Seto
(for the Ginninderra Falls Committee)

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