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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3372..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Mr Speaker, we are also an active participant in a regional approach to threatened species surveys. The Government is cooperating with the Housing Industry Association of the ACT, the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Queanbeyan City Council and local shires to identify threatened species and ecological communities in the Southern Tablelands.

Mr Speaker, I am absolutely delighted to announce the inclusion of the 100 hectares of woodlands, thus securing them from development. We will make significant additions to the Territory's nature conservation estate that Canberrans hold so dear by doing this. We are the bush capital, and we know that.

The additional 100 hectares of high-quality yellow box and red gum grassland will be protected. That land is spread across the ACT. Up near Mulligans Flat Reserve, in Gungahlin, we will add a further 28 hectares. At Mount Mugga, near east O'Malley, we will add some 42 hectares and look at an additional 20 hectares, depending on development needs. At Tuggeranong Hill in Conder we will add another 12 hectares, and at Mount Majura a further 18 hectares.

Some members in this place have raised questions about Conder and the woodlands and the grasslands there. The process that we have followed is the process that over the last five years has added Mulanggari, Gungaderra, Crace, Dunlop, Conder, O'Malley, Mount Majura and Mulligans Flat to our reserve system. The same process revealed that it would be appropriate to develop a smaller part of Conder 4A. As part of that planning exercise for Conder, Mr Speaker, four hectares of the woodlands that exist on the steeper slopes of Conder 4A will not be developed but will be managed as part of Canberra Nature Park. A strip of land running through Conder 4A from the floodway to the Tuggeranong Hill Nature Reserve will be set aside for public access and environmental connectivity.

We have already developed and put considerable physical and social infrastructure into north Lanyon and there is a definite need to provide access for the residents of Templestowe Avenue and Charterisville Avenue to Tom Roberts Avenue. Construction of a further bridge would be at direct cost to the Government and it would not be offset by revenue from land sales. Mr Speaker, we should develop Conder 4A but, by the same token, we acknowledge that there are areas there that really are worthy of retention. The same process that said we should go ahead and develop Conder 4A is the process that says that at Eaglemont Retreat there is an area bordered by two stable gulleys that should be preserved.

Mr Speaker, the Government is serious about conservation. It is those opposite who are not serious about conservation when they deny the process that delivers. This process has delivered many reserves and many extra hectares into the reserve system. When those opposite do not get what they want, somehow the process is flawed. When the judge is on their side he is right. When the judge is not on their side he is wrong. They cannot have it that way, Mr Speaker. We have a process in place so that where appropriate we will deliver. We will save biological and ecological communities that are worthy of saving, but we will also allow this city to progress and become the great city that it should be.

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