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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 November 2019) . . Page.. 4592 ..


Leave granted.

MRS JONES: I present the following paper:

Petition which does not conform with the standing orders—Coombs Peninsula—Proposed development—Mrs Jones (284 signatures).

The Coombs peninsula is one of the very few open spaces in the Molonglo Valley. It is an important public asset shared not just by residents of Coombs but by the wider community. The peninsula is home to wildlife such as the pink-tailed worm-lizard and a family of platypuses.

As has been discussed in this place at length, planning in Coombs has been far from perfect. The shops are sitting almost totally empty, apart from Ajijo, who does a great job of serving the community. There are barely any trees, and the suburb has been developed to within an inch of its capacity.

The government now wants to take away the last remaining open natural space. This paper petition was signed by 275 residents, and the out of order petition that I have tabled has 284 signatures. Together, these two petitions with exactly the same wording total 559 signatures, and demonstrate that the people of Coombs want their nature park at the Coombs peninsula to be protected from further development.

With an additional 30 dwellings to be built, the minister is sacrificing the last little bit of natural space that the people of Coombs have to enjoy. This is despite the importance of this space to the community, and despite the fact that many residents bought in the area on the understanding that that area would not be developed. That is why I have sponsored these petitions to call on the Assembly and the government to protect Coombs peninsula from additional multi-dwelling development.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.05): I thank Mrs Jones for bringing forward this petition. I will not speak at great length because I appreciate that we will deal with these items later today, under notice No 4.

The Greens support the reservation of this space as natural space. We have supported this for a very long time. Back in the Seventh Assembly, when the development of Molonglo was being planned, this area was set aside. That is why it has not been developed yet. We can all remember the Conservation Council taking the government to ACAT on the subject.

In our view the peninsula should be rezoned and protected for environment and recreation reasons. It is a small site, surrounded by the Molonglo River reserve on three sides. What happens on the site will impact on the reserve. It has an area of pink-tailed worm-lizard habitat, which should be protected, because the lizard is vulnerable both nationally and in the ACT. It is in a place where the peninsula is very narrow, only 200 metres wide. Lastly, as Mrs Jones pointed out, this is a great recreational asset for the people of Molonglo. As she said, there is not an over-abundance of natural recreation space in that area. We will have more to say about it in a few hours.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


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