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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 16 February 2017) . . Page.. 611 ..

taking place since 2014 to restore the area’s rocky grasslands and recreate woodland habitat for threatened species like the pink-tailed worm-lizard and woodland birds such as the crimson rosella, magpies, raptors, tawny frogmouths and the Australian kestrel.

A particular highlight of the project has been the recent installation of vertical habitat structures including five man-made utility poles and five large relocated mature trees, some up to 160 years old, which were deemed unsafe to remain standing in the urban area but which have now been given a renewed lease of life. In delicate operations involving crane trucks and semitrailers, trees were skilfully removed intact and then resurrected on site where they were placed into concrete lined sleeves where they will now provide habitat for species in coming decades.

Old trees provide unique habitat features that animals and insects can rely on such as hollows and peeling bark. Further work was done to enrich resurrected structures by attaching carved hollows and artificial bark to attract a variety of wildlife.

Within hours of the structures being installed woodland birds such as raptors and parrots were perching and inspecting hollows. Within days we had native bats roosting in specialised bat boxes. The immediacy of the wildlife response has been really fantastic, highlighting the demand for mature tree resources in otherwise highly degraded landscapes.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how has the community contributed to the Barrer Hill restoration project?

MR GENTLEMAN: The Barrer Hill restoration project in the soon-to-be-declared Molonglo River reserve near Coombs has been a great example of what can be achieved when the ACT government works with local community and educational institutions. ACT Parks and Conservation Service, the Land Development Agency and Greening Australia have run community planting days in the Barrer Hill area, and it is estimated the community has helped plant 550 native trees and shrubs so far.

A number of community organisations with a focus on conservation have supported this project and have given their time generously. Conservation volunteers always bring a level of enthusiasm but also expertise to projects such as this.

In addition to the efforts of community organisations, this project has a research component. The ACT Parks and Conservation Service is working with the Australian National University on a research project at Barrer Hill to inform how modified areas in the ACT and further afield can be restored with vertical habitat structures, including translocated trees and manmade utility poles. This research being conducted in collaboration with the Fenner School of Environment and Society at ANU will provide valuable data on the ability to restore vertical habitat structures in other modified areas.

MS ORR: Minister, can you provide more detail to the Assembly on how the ACT government partners with the community on important restoration projects like Barrer Hill?

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