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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 1790..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

Planning and Environment-Standing Committee-Report 17-Wildlife Corridors and DV231-East Gungahlin Suburbs of Kenny and Throsby and Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve-Government response.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Mr Speaker, today I have tabled the government's response to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment's report 17 on draft variation 231 to the territory plan and I will shortly be tabling the final variation. The variation proposes to provide a planning framework for future development of the suburbs of Kenny, Throsby and part of Harrison. It also formally establishes the 750-hectare Goorooyarroo nature reserve through a public land overlay.

The creation of Goorooyarroo nature reserve has seen the reduction of approximately 300 hectares of urban residential land. This will create a significant ecological resource for the ACT community by protecting an area of over 750 hectares in north-east Gungahlin. This area is mainly comprised of yellow box/red gum grassy woodland, including the existing Mulligans Flat nature reserve. Protecting this area from urban development will, however, come at an opportunity cost to the territory of approximately $300 million in future revenue.

The variation was released for public comment on 23 July 2004. It attracted four written comments by the close of public consultation on 3 September 2004. A number of minor revisions were made to the variation as a result of the consultation process. A preliminary assessment, PA, also supported the draft variation. The evaluation of the PA concluded that the PA had adequately addressed the potential impacts on the environment and, as such, no further environmental impact assessment was required.

In report 17 of November last year, the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment recommended that the variation proceed subject to 11 recommendations. I wish to outline the government's response to the committee's report.

The committee's second recommendation was that the boundaries of Throsby be reviewed to reduce the impact of residential development on the Goorooyarroo and Mulligans Flat nature reserves. The boundaries of the nature reserves were established following extensive consultation between the ACT Planning and Land Authority and Environment ACT. The boundaries reflect the ecological values of the area based on the ACT lowland conservation woodland strategy, also known as action plan 27, and the land management requirements of the Canberra nature park. As Throsby is not scheduled to be developed until at least 2016, it is not necessary to review the boundaries at this time. The final variation has, however, been amended to include a specific policy that requires additional studies to be undertaken closer to land release to confirm boundaries.

The committee's third recommendation was that earlier programming of new suburbs for the Molonglo Valley be considered. The option of earlier programming for the new suburbs of Molonglo is already being explored, following the completion of a range of studies over the past 12 months to establish the capability of this area to be developed. It


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