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Potential bushfire risk to the Ginninderry development in West Belconnen


Mr Doug Finlayson
Ginninderra Falls Association

Dear Mr Finlayson

I refer to your email of 19 June 2017 about potential bushfire risk to the Ginninderry development in West Belconnen. Unfortunately, due to technical issues which have only just come to light, we are unable to confirm if a response to your email has previously been provided. In the event that we have not responded previously, please find a response below. I apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACT Fire and Rescue Community Resilience) has reviewed Dr Sharples' report and noted its findings. The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) and the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) will oversee the Ginninderry development and ensure that Australian Standards for construction, and the requirements of the ACT Strategic Bushfire Management Plan 2014 -2019, in bushfire prone areas are met. I note the Strategic Bushfire Management Plan also allows the ESA Commissioner to set additional standards where appropriate, and this would be considered during the planning process and determined on a case by case basis.

On 31 July 2017, the planning and land authority issued a Notice of Decision (NOD) for Development Application 201731203, relating to the estate development of Ginninderry Stage 1. The NOD included a condition requiring additional fire hydrants to be provided to Lane 125 and Lane 126 in response to comments raised by ACT Fire & Rescue. It is also noted the ESA provided comments on the DA and stated the temporary Asset Protection Zone of 100m will provide sufficient separation from hazard vegetation interface for Ginninderry Stage 1.

As you may be aware, on 9 March 2018 an EIS exemption application was lodged for Ginninderry Stage 2 and subsequent stages urban development. The applicant addressed bushfire risk in the EIS exemption application. Based on the information provided by the applicant, the ESA did not object to the proposal and stated that a detailed assessment of fire risks will be assessed during any future DA lodged as part of the proposal. 

On 24 October 2018, I granted an EIS exemption and placed conditions relating to bushfire risk as detailed below:

  • Bushfire mitigation for urban areas will be undertaken by establishing an Asset Protection Zone (APZ) in accordance with the requirements of the ACT Strategic Bushfire Management Plan 2014-2019. This buffer must be provided within the Urban Development Area.
  • Bushfire mitigation in the West Belconnen Conservation Corridor (WBCC) must be consistent with the biodiversity objectives and conservation values in the corridor and includes:
    • fuel load and vegetation management, by way of slashing, controlled burning and livestock
    • bushfire management and maintenance access tracks
    • development of a bushfire management strategy as part of the WBCC Reserve Management Plan.
  • All works undertaken as part of any future DA must be undertaken in accordance with the ACT Strategic Bushfire Management Plan 2014- 2019, or its successor.

In addition to the above conditions, EPSDD will work closely with ACT Fire and Rescue Community Resilience and the ESA on any future DA's lodged as part of the Ginninderry project to ensure the requirements of relevant bushfire policies are met.

Thank you for raising this matter with me. I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely

Mick Gentleman MLA
Minister for Planning and Land Management

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