Cook Community Hub
41 Templeton St Cook
This will be a Q&A style panel discussion.
Our suggested focus will be on the conservation area of the West Belconnen / Parkwood development and the management of this new park. Note that the NSW section will be serviced by the ACT so the ACT government is directly involved in both sections.
To help inform this discussion we are undertaking an online public survey. Please see Survey: Conservation corridors around Ginninderra Falls.
To help the community discussion, here are some points for consideration:
The multi-billion dollar Riverview/LDA West Belconnen urban development in ACT has been approved by the ACT Government. The second part of this proposal, across the border in NSW, cannot proceed without agreement by the ACT to provide essential services. This will confer a de facto responsibility for this development upon the ACT Government.
The development in NSW requires Yass Valley Council to approve land rezoning from E3 (Environmental Management) to urban in the next few months. The ACT government should submit proposals to this rezoning to ensure that consistent environmental standards are applied for both sections of the development.
Key community stakeholders (NSW NPA, Ginninderra Falls Association, Ginninderra Catchment Group, Conservation Council of the ACT and Region) regard the NSW urban footprint as too intrusive for a world class conservation park or national park. Numerous presentations over the last three years have had no effect on the proposed urban footprint. Urban plans have not changed substantially.
There are numerous sources of internationally recognised world-class guidelines for conservation corridor development. The Riverview developers can do a lot better when it comes to developing a conservation park along the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek corridors.
Based on field monitoring of endangered species in the last year, there are strong arguments for much wider conservation corridors and buffer zones along both the Murrumbidgee River and the Ginninderra Creek. The current Riverview suggestions are wholly inadequate.
Aboriginal heritage across the area is not adequately protected from issues around land ownership and urban development.
Any decision on rezoning should be deferred while the ecological, park design and aboriginal heritage issues are considered in more detail and appropriate urban boundaries agreed by all stakeholders to create a world-class tourist destination.
Any future Conservation Park /Tourist Facility in this NSW area will be first and foremost an ACT attraction. Any shortcomings in the facility will reflect badly on the ACT not on NSW. It is, therefore, incumbent upon members of the ACT Government to decide whether it is appropriate for residential development to occur, in the manner proposed, before accepting any cross-border agreement.