19 June 2020

Gungahlin biodiversity corridors to grow

| My Gungahlin
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The Federal Government has today announced its approval of the Gungahlin Strategic Environmental Assessment.

This decision supports the ACT Government’s proposal to delineate which areas in Gungahlin should be protected as nature reserves for future generations, the protection of biodiversity, and the extension of biodiversity corridors, and which areas can be released for suburban development over coming years.

The ACT Greens support the outcomes of this environmental assessment, but with a few caveats.

“On the whole I think that this assessment strikes the right balance between biodiversity protection and suburban development,” said ACT Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury.

“Overall we are pleased that the new suburbs of Gungahlin were evaluated strategically – to ensure that the protected areas link together to form a contiguous nature reserve system along the northern rim of the ACT.”

“It is pleasing to see these areas being proposed for protection – it is only a shame that the ALP Government has resisted protecting some of these areas for so long in order to be able to count them as offset areas. For example, the ALP has been promising to protect Kinleyside since 2004.

“I still have reservations about the proximity of the Throsby development area to Superb Parrot habitat – the jury is out as to whether a 100m buffer is sufficient, but it would certainly be an absolute minimum. This is the type of detail which can be looked at through a development application process for the area.”

“I am also concerned that development plans for Kenny need to have a wildlife corridor built into them – the Estate Development Plan needs to incorporate a wildlife corridor – probably along the creekline, to ensure that the nature reserve areas of northern Gungahlin connect to the protected areas of Southern Kenny.”

“The ACT Greens will be keeping a close eye on these areas as the development plans are put together in coming years,” said Mr Rattenbury.

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