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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 1301 ..

Yellow box/red gum grassy woodland preservation-north Watson

MS TUCKER (8.51): I move:

That this Assembly calls upon the government to extend the western boundary of the Justice Robert Hope Park 50 metres to the west of its current alignment in order to:

(1) incorporate the associated grasslands and allow their restoration to thereby preserve a representative area of yellow box/red gum grassy woodland;

(2) provide an adequate buffer between the woodland and the North Watson residential development; and

(3) ensure that these grasslands are managed sustainably.

I move the following amendment to the motion:

After "western boundary of the"insert the words "designated urban open space around".

Basically, I have just added those words to my motion to clarify exactly what I am talking about. I think it is clear already from my motion, but I have moved an amendment just in case. I think that this motion is important in terms of the Labor Party's, and now Labor government's, credibility because before the election Mr Corbell made very clear statements on behalf of Labor about this area.

I understand that when Minister Corbell provided for the protection of the yellow box/red gum trees at north Watson he did so by creating 14 hectares of designated urban open space, rather than by formally extending the borders of Justice Robert Hope Park. Just to clarify, the boundary I am referring to in my motion is actually the western boundary of this designated urban open space, which is the interface between the woodland and the proposed north Watson residential development, although, as I have said, I think the intention is clear.

This motion relates to one particular issue in the long-running story of preserving the north Watson woodlands, that is, the issue of the buffer between the proposed north Watson residential development which is due for release fairly shortly and the trees that the Labor government has protected by designating 14 hectares around the earlier declared five hectares of Justice Robert Hope Park.

I begin by again commending this decision on the part of the government and acknowledging the efforts of Minister Corbell to produce good results for both the environment and the community and find a sensible balance between urban development and environmental protection. When the minister announced his decision, he said:

The new park reflects the integrated approach to planning being taken by the Government, in collaboration with the community. It also provides a unique opportunity for the Government and community to continue working together in preparing a management plan for the park.

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