Page 2714 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 16 August 2005

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Grasslands, CSIRO research scientist and orchid expert Mr David L Jones, the ACT Commissioner for the Environment, and the Australian Plant Conservation Network. There were also discussions with the Hall cemetery management group and the chair of the cemeteries board, Mr Bob Smeaton, in relation to the expansion of the Hall c cemetery and the site of the rare orchid species.

The village of Hall master plan was completed in May 2002. This was taken into account during the proposed variation of the territory plan. The master plan’s main aim was to establish strategies to protect the Hall village and its uniqueness. It was developed in conjunction with the local community and was based on a synthesis of current analysis and community views. The current territory plan is not in complete harmony with the Hall village master plan and therefore the proposed variation will help to amend this.

The first part of the proposed variation is to change the land use policy for part of Kinlyside from residential to hills, ridges and buffer areas policy. This will help to maintain the rural aspect and outlook of Hall village. The Conservator of Flora and Fauna agrees with the maintaining of these blocks in Kinlyside, as they contain areas of yellow box, red gum and grassy woodland. The conservator has also advised the committee that these areas can be appropriately managed through land management agreements.

The most significant changes to the village of Hall are that of the expansion of the Hall cemetery. The Hall cemetery has areas where rare species of orchid grow, and this makes it difficult for further burials in the cemetery. In the briefing to the committee, the conservation council has informed the committee that future burials should be strictly limited to the existing cemetery site because of the threat to the endangered Tarengo leek orchid and the very high quality grassy woodland understorey.

The committee recommends that a new site for burials on blocks 310 and 312, which are adjacent to the current Hall cemetery, be made available at the earliest opportunity. It also recommended that no further burials take place in the current Hall cemetery except in compliance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999—the commonwealth act—and/or the ACT Nature Conservation Act of 1980 and the Hall cemetery management plan. As previously mentioned, the committee recommends that Environment ACT consider planting locally provenanced appropriate species such as yellow box and red gum trees and understorey and ground layer grassy woodland species on sections 310 and 312 to create a landscape which is similar to that of the existing Hall cemetery.

During consultations on this draft variation, it was unclear as to whether the Hall village will adapt the same level of sustainability definitions and principles as are apparent for other rural villages such as Stromlo and Uriarra. The committee is aware of the planning systems reform project that is considering the ACT government’s proposed sustainability definitions in the territory’s planning and land administration system. The final recommendation from the committee is that the territory plan reform project considers the need for a clear and consistent articulation and application of sustainability principles applicable to rural villages in the ACT in the revised territory plan.

Again, as committee chair, I would like to thank all those involved in the consultation process, particularly the committee office and secretary, Hanna Jaireth. Thank you.

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