The EDO ACT provided advice to the Ginninderra Falls Association (GFA), a community group that advocates for the conservation and protection of the environment in the West Belconnen and adjacent NSW area. The GFA have been engaged in environmental protection and advocacy surrounding the proposed Ginninderry development in West Belconnen. The proposed development covers 1000 hectares of land in the ACT bordering the Murrumbidgee River and 600 hectares across the border in NSW. It will deliver up to 11,500 new homes, house an increasing population and take about 30 years to complete.
The area to be cleared for development is a mix of greenfield land and native vegetation. It is also rich in types of biodiversity that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.6 The development is likely to cause the local extinction of the Rosenberg’s Goanna, Little Eagle, Scarlet Robin and Spotted Harrier and to cause significant decline or decline of six other listed ACT and Commonwealth species. Reports by independent fire experts also indicate that the housing development is in fire-prone areas likely to be impacted by a warming climate.7
Despite the impacts on greenfield land and vulnerable biodiversity, this development has been approved. It is unclear whether consideration of ACT’s emissions reduction targets have been considered in the development application process.
7 “Risk Implications of Dynamic Fire Propagation”, presented to YVC on 25th October 2017, by UNSW bushfire scientist Dr Jason Sharples.