Page 4443 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 22 November 2005

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further studies to be undertaken at the appropriate planning stages for the proposed development areas adjacent to the Goorooyarroo nature reserve to ensure that the ecological values and peripheral areas of the reserve are not affected by the proposed nearby land uses.

In line with this, the committee recommends that the ACT government explore the opportunity of maintaining the 25 hectares of yellow box/red gum and red stringy-bark woodland adjacent to Goorooyarroo and Mulligans Flat nature reserves with a view to the provision of assistance to conservation groups to manage this area. This was discussed in the committee process with comments relating to the fact that the threatened status of the yellow box/red gum woodlands is well recognised.

It is clear from the air that there has been vast clearing of native vegetation to the north of the ACT in New South Wales and that this corridor remains the only link to the rest of Canberra from the north, connecting the Brindabella area to the rest of Canberra. It is stated that the yellow box/red gum woodlands are linked in a corridor from Gungahlin down the Majura Valley and into the Woden and the most southern sections of the ACT.

The committee recommends that all future draft variations that concern the expansion of residential areas or impact on Canberra nature parks should include maps and data that demonstrate how the proposed variation will contribute to ecological connectivity and regional targets for the protection of species in the public documentation produced by ACT Planning and Land Authority.

There were also discussions as to the implementation of cat containment policies and that ACTPLA will investigate cat containment in the suburb of Throsby. The committee agrees with this suggestion and recommends that cat containment be mandatory in both Throsby and Kenny. The committee recommends that the current array of policy documents on environmental management, including biodiversity conservation, be reviewed, integrated and streamlined and better integrated with environment protection and planning legislation.

It was recommended by the committee during deliberation on DV231 that the ACT government introduce a reporting system such as a state of the parks report which identifies programs to monitor management effectiveness and progress towards achieving protected area objectives. The committee expects that the proposed regional management framework will provide for biodiversity conservation and recognise wildlife corridors. We are, therefore, recommending that as a flow-on reform the advisory, program delivery and consultative committees involved in NRM on a local and regional scale be reviewed and better integrated.

With the ACT government having signed an agreement for the National Heritage Trust and as of 2001 being a signatory to the intergovernmental agreement for the national action plan for salinity and water quality, the committee has also made recommendations in relation to this area. The committee recommends that remnant vegetation with high conservation value on rural leases be better managed as wildlife corridors under land management agreements, with these to be the basis for increased funding applications under the National Heritage Trust and the national action plan for salinity and water quality.

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