Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2238 ..
MR WOOD (continuing):
between the Red Hill Nature Reserve and Isaacs Ridge, and the Callum Brae woodlands to the south.
Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I should point out that the real estate development will include several water sensitive urban design initiatives, including the construction of a pond and creek rehabilitation works, flush kerbs and swales. Mr Corbell has also mentioned some of those aspects. In addition, 99 per cent of medium, high and very high-quality eucalypt trees within the development area are to be retained as a requirement of the deed of agreement-that is, just one of the 136 significant trees on the land in question will be lost.
Mr Speaker, I should mention that there are some other related issues. The perunga grasshopper has been raised as an issue of concern to some people. This species is typically found in native grasslands, so east O'Malley is not considered to be significant habitat or sole habitat for these species. It is already found in grassland nature reserves and other significant grassland areas which are not to be developed. Another issue is that of the speckled warbler. This is a declining species that is best protected by conserving large areas of yellow box and other woodlands, such as those sites I have mentioned.
The final issue concerns the review of the implementation of action plans-I am really stressing this point because I think it is the core of this matter-which is part of a routine annual assessment process undertaken by the flora and fauna committee. I would like the Assembly to note that the current development proposal already delivers a greater area at east O'Malley than was provided for.
Mr Corbell has outlined all the significant issues. We are concerned. We are proud of our green credentials. We well know that this Assembly is very insistent on protection of our environment and I believe we have been doing just that.
MRS DUNNE (11.49): Mr Speaker, I rise to speak against the motion. When this motion was brought to my attention earlier this week I undertook that the Liberal Party room would look at it closely. To that end I sought and obtained, thanks to the ministers, a very comprehensive briefing from the land and property section as well as the wildlife research group. I hope that Ms Tucker also availed herself of the opportunity to have a briefing because the briefing I was given clarified some of the points that were milling around in the back of my mind. It indicated what a high-quality and thoughtful process this has been to bring together what will be a very high-quality development which is entirely sensitive to the adjoining areas.
As the ministers have explained in great detail, this is an issue that has been around for a long time. In fact, my first recollection of this as an issue was back in 1997 when I was a humble environment adviser to the then minister for the environment. Members of the wildlife research unit came to me and said that this was an area that would have to be considered under what was then a draft action plan. From that time there was encouragement from the then government, which continued through the custodianship of Mr Humphries and then Mr Smyth, to ensure that substantial areas of east O'Malley would eventually become included in Canberra Nature Park, which is still subject to draft variation.