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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 August 2008) . . Page.. 3179 ..

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee

Report 36

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (10.49): I present the following report:

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee—Report 36—Variation to the Territory Plan No 281—Molonglo and North Weston, dated 18 August 2008, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

The proposed variation to the territory plan No 281 aims to enable parts of the Molonglo Valley and north Weston to become urban development areas. The majority of submissions to the committee concerning the draft variation highlighted important environmental considerations that need to be adequately assessed and appropriately mitigated prior to the residential development taking place in the Molonglo and north Weston area. Many submissions also considered that the environmental impacts had not yet been adequately assessed in the draft variation.

The committee heard from a variety of scientists, peak bodies and enthusiasts regarding the preservation of woodlands, grasslands and other threatened species’ habitats. The committee also noted the strong public objection to urban development in the central Molonglo, despite the 20-year moratorium on development in that region. Central Molonglo includes a significant area of moderately modified woodland and grassland which is relatively intact and connected. In light of the evidence presented to it, the committee recommends that central Molonglo be removed in perpetuity from being considered as a future urban area.

The committee also considers that more can be done to retain and manage remnant pockets of yellow box-red gum grassy woodland in east Molonglo for conservation purposes and that the Kama nature reserve should be expanded to provide a more significant wildlife corridor. Additionally, the committee recommends that further studies be undertaken to assess the impact of development and current populations of threatened and uncommon species, particularly raptors and woodland birds. Whilst the committee notes that a thorough environmental impact assessment will be required to consider the feasibility, environmental impacts and costs of a variety of stormwater management options, the committee recommends that the lake option not proceed unless it receives community support.

The committee recommends that the proposed variation to the territory plan No 281 proceed, subject to the committee’s recommendations. The committee would like to thank the officials and stakeholders who assisted the committee during the course of this inquiry, especially the secretary, Ms Nicola Derigo, and James Newton from the committee office. I commend the report to the Assembly.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.52): This is an important variation to the territory plan and it is one that has created considerable interest, and justifiable

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