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Protect open spaces. Letters to the Editor, Canberra Times, 1 Aug 2016


Our present government under the strongly pro-development Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, is on full throttle with its "Northbourne Reborn" (July 22, p1). Northbourne Avenue isn't the only development site, of course. New suburbs are spreading south and north-west where the Riverview development will straddle the border with NSW, introducing all sorts of planning complexities.

The Riverview development will provide housing for 30,000 people and come very close to the Murrumbidgee River, reducing its buffer which provides refuge and breathing space for wildlife and protection for the river from run-off.

Ever seen the spectacular view of the Murrumbidgee from Shepherds Lookout, west of Holt? It's a sight to behold and Elioth Gruner captured the scene's magic beautifully in his painting, Weetangera, Canberra (1937).

The Riverview development will also be very close to Gininnderra Falls, another treasure to the north-west of our once fair city.

If you value our open spaces and what they hold, get active. Join the Gininnderra Falls Association, push for better environmental protection of our precious Murrumbidgee River as it winds its way to the stressed Murray-Darling Basin.

If you hear the Riverview consortium deserves congratulations for its extensive consultations with stakeholders and its recognition of environmental protection, ask what the consultations achieve and whether its environmental protection measures are stringent enough.

Also how "independent" are the consultants engaged to comment on aspects of the development? Who will benefit most?

Consider too the Greenway development adjacent to the Murrumbidgee in Tuggeranong.

It's all too much.

Judy Kelly, Aranda

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