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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1676 ..

Plantation forests

MS TUCKER (5.53): I move:

That this Assembly calls on the Government to:

(1) undertake a review of the future land use of the pine plantations burnt out in the Christmas bushfires, including, but not limited to, the use of some or all of the land for-

(a) plantations of native tree species;

(b) rehabilitation to its original native vegetation;

(c) other land uses not related to plantations;

(d) re-establishment of the pine plantation;

(2) take account in the conduct of the review of-

(a) environmental, social and planning considerations in integrating the use of this land into the broader planning of Canberra;

(b) the economics and environmental impacts of plantation forestry in the ACT;

(c) community views on the most desirable use of this land;

(3) report to the Assembly on the outcome of the review by the end of the sitting week in September 2002; and

(4) not proceed with any replanting of pine trees in these areas until the Assembly has considered the outcome of the review.

The Christmas bushfires which burnt out 500 hectares of pine plantation in the Stromlo Forest area were a frightening event, but we need to move on and look at what opportunities arise from this situation. We are left with a significant area of cleared land on the fringe of the city, lying between Belconnen and Weston Creek, adjacent to the Tuggeranong Parkway and extending to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

It is an attractive location from a range of planning perspectives, and there is no inherent reason why it has to be a pine plantation. Rather than assume that the area should stay as a pine plantation just because it was a pine plantation before, I think the government should think more strategically and review the planning of this area to see whether the land could be better used for other purposes.

My motion does not propose particular types of use to which the land should be put, and I do not have any particular position on that. The motion is intended to open up for debate possible uses of this land. This land should not be regarded as a monolithic whole that is suitable for only one land use. Different parts of the area could be used for different purposes, depending on location and particular geographic characteristics. Perhaps some of the land could be used for recreational purposes as parkland. This might be most appropriate in the area between the parkway and Lake Burley Griffin as an extension of the lake foreshore, which on many other parts of the lake has been kept as landscape open space.

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