MEDIA RELEASE – 24 Oct 2019

Sad day for native wildlife species along Ginninderra Creek and the Murrumbidgee River corridors

At the Yass Valley Council meeting on Wednesday 23 October, the Council passed a resolution approving the Planning Proposal by Riverview Projects (ACT) Pty Ltd for the rezoning of land in NSW for the Parkwood urban development as part of the ACT-NSW cross-border township of Ginninderry.

This Planning Proposal has serious shortcomings when it comes to creating an eco-friendly conservation park along the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek river corridors. This is despite many submissions calling for a widening of the river/creek corridors and greater setbacks for the built environment. A very sad day for the conservation of native wildlife species.

The Planning Proposal was contested by members of the community concerned about the potential impacts on an area with significant biodiversity values, a rich natural and cultural heritage, and a serious bushfire risk to the future urban community from ember attack.

The specific area of concern in the Parkwood urban development is bounded to the north and west by the gorges of the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek, including the spectacular waterfalls. The steepness of the gorge walls have minimized intrusion by exotic animals and plants, thus creating an area where numerous native species of flora and fauna have survived.

The Planning Proposal conservation corridor for this area is ill-designed, being narrow with an irregular border defying current internationally-recognized design principles for nature reserves.

The main visitor centre, which will be one of the first developments in the Parkwood area, is to be located on the edge of the quarry as this land is “disturbed”; its proximity to the falls is questionable.

The knowledge of good reserve design is available now for determining the width of buffer zone required between the reserve and the urban edge to mitigate against the negative effects of noise, light and other disturbance, thus ensuring the future of the nature reserve and its inhabitants.

As urban development will not occur for several decades, it is expected that the zoning will be adjusted as appropriate, based on research and bushfire management controls in operation at the time of development. Now their land has been rezoned, however, landholders can be expected to resist any reduction in their anticipated financial benefit from sale of their land for urban development.

Only four of the ten Yass Valley Councillors voted for this rezoning but they were the majority of the five councillors who attended this important meeting.

This decision places a burden on future councillors who will have to deal with the many complexities involved in this cross-border development.


There will be a public meeting on “Protecting the urban edge, protecting nature reserves and protecting our waterways” at the Cook Community Hub, 41 Templeton Street, Cook from 7:30 PM on Thursday 31 October 2019.


Contact: Robyn Coghlan, President, Mob. 0435 534 998

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