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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 September 1995) . . Page.. 1539 ..


the amenity of the residences in the area or the environment. The committee, in its conclusions, said that they wanted the east John Dedman Freeway taken out of the National Capital Plan. That was a clear recommendation. Several other transport options for Gungahlin were discussed in the report. One was put forward by the community. It was referred to in the report as the community option. The report also recommended that a thorough environmental assessment be made of such a road.

I would like to stress the environmental value of our hills. Sometimes we lose sight of that. We are so busy working out how we can move around this city that we forget that there is a lot of other life here. The hills and ridges not only contribute aesthetically and symbolically to Canberra's character but also are used extensively for recreation by the community and have great environmental value. The forests and woodlands of the inner hills are fine examples of the type of vegetation that was once common in the area. As well as providing a valuable resource for nature studies and scientific research, remnant vegetation helps control soil erosion and salinity and serves as a habitat for wildlife. The inner hills in Canberra provide many outstanding examples of diversity in vegetation and topography which encourage a rich fauna. In particular, many bird species are known to use the inner hills and ridges.

The 1991 report referred to a study on the conservation of remnant woodland in the Australian Capital Territory which reported that over half of the bird species found in suburban areas of Canberra do not breed in the urban environment and are dependent upon such bushland for breeding habitat. Mount Ainslie, Mount Majura and Black Mountain support over 80 breeding species, including some species uncommon in the Territory. The hills and ridges also serve as wildlife corridors for transient species such as kangaroos and wallabies, providing access between the inner forest and woodland areas and other areas of open space.

The community option was the option which would impact least on these very important natural areas. This option was developed by the North Canberra Protection Group, which was an umbrella organisation representing the Mount Ainslie and Mount Majura Protection Association, the Black Mountain and O'Connor Foothills Protection Association and many North Canberra residents. The group was formed in 1988 to develop a coordinated response to the Gungahlin external travel study. Following a number of public meetings, the group prepared and presented to the travel study a ring road proposal which I have already mentioned. This was an example of community consultation and community input that we can be proud of. That is why I have asked members here to take very seriously the comments and options that the community came up with.

In conclusion, I say once again that I think we need to look at traffic, we need to look at traffic calming and we need to look at public transport. I commend Mr De Domenico on his traffic study of the Lyneham area. I am a little bit unsure about the timing, following the notice that came out yesterday about widening Mouat Street. Maybe we could have done the traffic study first. Traffic management and calming should definitely accompany such a widening. I guess that that is what will come out of the work that Mr De Domenico is doing.


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