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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2236 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

community and any part of this ecological community should not be proposed for development at this stage.

What I say in response to that is the government has adhered to its commitment. Its election commitment was to review the appropriateness of the release of these sites in the context of the review of Action Plan 10. The detailed advice that I received from Environment ACT indicated that the review of Action Plan 10 was unlikely to result in a decision to not proceed with the release of this site. In that context, in the context of the broader demands faced for land release in the territory, and given the significant amount of land already protected-70 per cent of the original residential area being protected-in the Canberra Nature Park, the government, on balance, believes that it was an appropriate decision.

The government is seeking a strategic and holistic approach to the protection of endangered species and communities in order to achieve more significant conservation outcomes. My colleague, Mr Wood, will outline briefly the work that is being undertaken to build a sustainable and strategic framework for the protection of this endangered woodland area, including significant sites in north Canberra.

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for the Arts) (11.40): Mr Speaker, I join with Mr Corbell in debating this very serious and important motion that has been moved by Ms Tucker. Ms Tucker has called for any decision about the sale of this land to be deferred until the government has completed a review of Action Plan 10 for the protection of the declared endangered yellow box/red gum grassy woodland ecological community. I will point out shortly that we are observing Action Plan 10 and that maybe we have got different ideas about what is meant by a review of Action Plan 10.

But first, let me describe the significance of these woodlands in the broader context of sustainable nature conservation in the ACT. We recognise the need to take a more strategic approach to the conservation of endangered species and ecological communities, including yellow box/red gum grassy woodlands. The sustainable bush capital we want requires a concerted effort of managing our natural areas strategically. We need to meet the conservation requirements of species and communities that are threatened with extinction, while at the same time ensuring that those that are in good condition remain so. This important task needs a well planned allocation of conservation effort.

A key element of such a strategy is a regional approach to the identification and management of conservation threats, with local targeting of issues of special concern. The required management resources can then be assigned strategically so that the conservation benefits are maximised.

Ecological evaluation of grassy woodland areas at Gooroo (east Gungahlin), Callum Brae (Symonston) and Kinlyside (east of Hall) has confirmed their importance to the long-term conservation of the yellow box/red gum grassy woodland endangered ecological community. Protecting the yellow box woodlands at these sites as part of a strategic conservation program will achieve much more significant conservation outcomes than something like 25 hectares at east O'Malley. Protecting woodland in the areas I have mentioned will preserve wildlife links between existing reserves and

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