On 1 September 2017, the West Belconnen Strategic Assessment (SA024) for the Ginninderry Joint Venture (JV) project was approved by a delegate of Minister Frydenberg, Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Energy, an important environmental milestone which, together with the necessary planning approvals will allow urban development to proceed.
In proceeding with the Ginninderry project the Ginninderry JV, will deliver, in accordance with the Program Report – Urban Development at West Belconnen (AT Adams Consulting April 2017), the following outcomes:
- Establishing a minimum of 549.9-hectare conservation reserve to include the Ginninderra Falls and Gorge, and the Murrumbidgee River Corridor
- Rezoning the conservation land (ACT and NSW) to ensure environmental protection
- Establishing an Environmental Management Trust (funded in perpetuity), to manage the conservation reserve in perpetuity; with Trust members including community and aboriginal representatives
- Researching and restoring habitat areas for the Pink Tailed Worm Lizard, Box Gum Woodland and other vulnerable species and ecological communities within the reserve
- Establishing and managing additional reserves for the protection of the Golden Sun Moth
- Additional surveys for Pink Tailed Worm Lizard and natural temperate grassland
- Preparing (through a public process) and adopting an ACT/NSW environmental agency-approved management plan for the reserve. Plan to be reviewed every five years
- Preparing ACT/NSW and Australian Government-approved annual and five yearly reports (subject to independent assessment and audit of conservation outcomes)
- Imposing cat containment restrictions under current ACT legislation on all new development in ACT, utilise existing cat containment measure in NSW and seek to have legislation strengthened.
Riverview Projects CEO David Maxwell said conserving local species and ecological communities was at the forefront of the Ginninderry and Parkwood projects’ priorities.
“Protecting the natural habitat of some the region’s significant species is a cause we’re inherently committed to on the project”, Maxwell said. “Gaining EPBC Act approval of our development and conservation commitments is a big step towards achieving that.
Environmental investigations commenced in 2009 and continued to 2013 when work on site master planning and the environmental assessment process commenced, based on these investigations. The environmental reports prepared included detailed studies of EPBC Act listed Box Gum Woodlands, Golden Sun Moths, Pink Tailed Worm lizards, targeted bird surveys and other species and communities listed under ACT and NSW environment legislation.
All reports were made publicly available through the assessment process, and all comments received were carefully considered as part of the EPBC Act assessment. The program of urban development and conservation was reviewed by the ACT Conservator and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage prior to finalisation and represents a single comprehensive review of all matters related to the environment at Australian Government, State and Territory levels.