Environmental win at Coombs

THE endangered Pink-Tailed Worm Lizard habitat and the Molonglo River Corridor that’s part of the proposed suburb of Coombs, will be further protected as part of agreed changes in the suburb’s development application.

The agreement, between the ACT Government and the Conservation Council, came following mediation at the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

As part of the changes, the habitat and river corridor is now outside the bushfire buffer zone and storm water systems within the Coombs development will be directed to a Gross Pollutant Trap and filtration system prior to being discharged into the Molonglo River.

The agreement has provisions for the Government to later seek approval for developing additional house blocks however only after a statutory Plan of Management for the Molonglo River corridor is complete.

“The proposed Statutory Plan of Management for the River Corridor is the right place to fully explore protecting endangered species and woodlands, boundaries of urban development and how these interact with the need for bushfire buffer zones,” Conservation Council executive director Clare Henderson said.

“The Conservation Council supports keeping areas of high biodiversity value such as River Corridors, endangered species habitat or nature reserves out of bushfire buffer zones. In the shorter term there is an urgent need for an operational plan to address weed control, monitoring of endangered species and to ensure building activities, including infrastructure works do not adversely affect the River Corridor.”

Minister for Economic Development, Andrew Barr MLA said he was pleased to learn of the mediated outcome between the Conservation Council and the LDA.

“This collaborative approach to resolving complex environmental issues is an example of how government agencies and the community can work together to achieve good outcomes,” Mr Barr said.

“The preservation of our environment has always been, and will continue to be, a high priority and we aim to ensure that the development of the Molonglo Valley will be undertaken in sustainable ways that ensure the existing important environmental values are protected and enhanced.

“I thank the Conservation Council for the positive and constructive way that this outcome has been achieved and look forward to continuing to work with them as Molonglo develops.”

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