Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . .
The variation before us today refers to two particular offsets that I want to make a comment on. In regard to the Pinnacle Nature Reserve in Belconnen where we are seeing an extension, this appears to be a good outcome. We are getting additional blocks added to the reserve. I think it is essential that we take a scientific approach to identifying offsets and ensure that the offset provides genuine conservation benefits over time.
In terms of Justice Robert Hope Park, I have some reservations about that one. It is being used as an offset for an urban development on a nearby woodland community. I am less convinced that a strategic approach has been taken here and question whether there will be a net biodiversity gain. I am aware of concerns of the community that their hard work in enhancing Robert Hope Park has been included as part of the offset. From their perspective, they have worked hard to improve the quality of these woodlands only to see a development proposal on a nearby area of woodland.
As we move forward we need to ensure a rigorous scientific approach and ongoing funding for management and monitoring the effectiveness of this offset. The Justice Robert Hope Park offset gives us pause to reflect on whether we have our principles right when it comes to biodiversity offsets. As I said, I acknowledge that a lot of progress has been made, but I think there is still room for further improvement when it comes to this matter of policy.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Mr Gentleman presented the following paper:
Planning and Development Act, pursuant to subsection 242(2)—Schedule—Leases granted for the period 1 April to 30 June 2016.
Planning and Development Act 2007—variation No 353 to the territory plan
Paper and statement by minister
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations): For the information of members, I present the following paper:
Planning and Development Act, pursuant to subsection 79(1)—Approval of Variation No. 353 to the Territory Plan—Changes to various zone development tables, codes and definitions, dated 26 July 2016, including associated documents.
I ask for leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.
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