- The currently proposed irregular conservation park boundary should be rounded, in line with best practice, to eliminate urban protrusions into the conservation zone. These intrusions expose residents to greater fire danger, increase the impact of urban development on native species and create “islands” that will isolate ecological species resulting in eventual extinction (see attached APZ map below).
- The conservation zone/urban interface is currently based on existing bushfire management practices which do not fully consider more recent knowledge of the dynamic fire behaviour associated with this area. Accordingly, the interface should be designed having regard to known bushfire behaviour and risks in the area and making allowance for expected future possible changes to fire management practices. Any proposed future enlargement of the urban area at the margins of the conservation park would then be subject to future planning approval processes on a case-by-case basis.
- While controlled burns of the natural vegetation will be performed in the conservation corridor, it is expected that these will be minimal. They are unlikely to have any impact on the generation of dynamic fire behaviour up the steeper slopes when the conditions for such a fire are present. A wider asset protection zone (APZ) along with controlled burn offs in the urban area will no doubt be adopted for bushfire hazard reduction along with rigorous building and urban design standards. The creation of an additional buffer zone around the conservation corridor edge and within the E2 zone would also assist in control of severe fires where slopes are steepest.
- The conservation park should ideally be rezoned as E1 under the NSW Department of Planning guidelines but, at this time, it is recognised as being unachievable. The whole conservation park area, including a buffer, should therefore be rezoned E2 meeting the objectives of high ecological, scientific, cultural and aesthetic values with a ‘no additional uses’ clause.
- Affected landowners should be entitled to a financial compensation arrangement from land sales across the whole Ginninderry urban development, equally for both conservation and urban land.
- A more regular conservation edge will be shorter in length, thus reducing the initial and ongoing costs of infrastructure for water drainage control and fencing to protect the conservation zone.
- The SP1 zone for tourist information buildings should be moved to a position at least 300 metres from Ginninderra Creek and the Upper Falls. There are many examples of national parks in NSW that have wheelchair access over this distance to heritage and ecologically-sensitive areas within their parks. This is the area that will attract the greatest number of visitors with inevitable resultant degradation of the landscape so greater space is desirable. Everyone visiting a conservation park wants to experience the feeling of being in a natural wonderland with beautiful sightlines and exciting landscapes and ecology.
- The Parkwood development in NSW goes against the Yass Valley Council’s stated aim to keep an undeveloped five-kilometre buffer zone between the urban areas of the ACT and those in the Yass Valley Council local government area. It also suggests contempt for the current E3 zoning along the Murrumbidgee in Yass Valley and could encourage further urban development along the headwaters of the Murray-Darling Basin, thus compounding the problems of water quantity and quality in our most important agricultural region.
Extra permitted uses for the SP1 site of the proposed visitor centre near the existing quarry and Ginninderra Falls:
Variations to zoning uses in selected areas
GFA has considerable concern about the additional permitted uses for selected owners. In particular, the provisions would allow significant development along the Murrumbidgee River frontage on Lot 5/DP771051. For example, the land-owners could develop, with impunity, a holiday camp/camp site/caravan park or similar facility on a 500 x 200 metre (10 hectare) site around their existing house and totally destroy the conservation park ecological connectivity and ambience.