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Beyond the expected

Defence kiboshes Belconnen grassland refuge plan

By johnboy 30 September 2008 28

The Canberra Times reports that Defence is getting a wriggle on with cleaning up the old Belconnen Naval Transmission Station site now that the public has twigged to the piles of toxic chemicals and asbestos left lying all over the place.

They’re planning to ignore the ACT Government (not of itself a bad move) and rip up the contaminated soil for trucking to the Mugga Lane tip.

In the process the sun moths and earless dragons which the Chief Minister had hoped to create an enourmous reserve to protect (and which one can only assume are cancerous and wheezing anyway from all the dangerous substances) will also be consigned to oblivion.

Funny how this only became so urgent once the public became aware of a problem.

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Defence kiboshes Belconnen grassland refuge plan
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peterh 9:57 am 01 Oct 08

Thumper said :

hey, when you are 9 years old, and your father is in the RAAF, if he says you would get shot, you believe him….

Not me. We used to raise merry hell on base when I was a kid, even got subdued by a guard dog once. Being brought home by the MPs was the worst though, especially when your old man was CO base SQN.

depends on the base. Darwin, now, they would have looked the other way. Great Bunkers there, especially on the cliffs by the port. edinburgh or amberley, you would be in a world of pain….

toowoomba was the best base of the lot. many happy memories. The areas that were off limits to us kids were usually pretty smelly, or they had lots of bunkers around.

Thumper 9:35 am 01 Oct 08

It appears that defence will take full responsibility for cleaning up the site, which is only to be expected.

However, as there will always be some lingering doubt as to whether or not there is any residual contamination, it would only seem feasible to create a park or nature corridor instead of more dreary medium density dwellings.

The area could have plantings of natives to create more habitat, not only for moths and lizards, but for echidnas, roos, possums, frogs etc. Pathways could be built so visitors can stroll through the area. Interpretive signs could also inform visitors of what they are experiencing.

As well, the remains of the old base could be conserved as they do have cultural and historical significance.

All in all it makes a lot of sense to have such an area put aside for the public. Canberra is rapidly losing a lot of it’s green space and with the closure of schools it would appear that more will go. Therefore, put the medium density housing on the old school zones and open up the Lawson area.

In 20 years time people will really appreciate the fact they have such a facility so close to suburbia. if it is built on then it is gone forever.

I’m on Stanhope’s side with this one.

Thumper 8:36 am 01 Oct 08

hey, when you are 9 years old, and your father is in the RAAF, if he says you would get shot, you believe him….

Not me. We used to raise merry hell on base when I was a kid, even got subdued by a guard dog once. Being brought home by the MPs was the worst though, especially when your old man was CO base SQN.

Kramer 1:35 pm 30 Sep 08

I reckon cleaning it up and keeping it as a grassland / nature reserve / mountain bike park is the go. If you build houses there people are going to get sick and sue – it’ll cost more in the long run.

If people are that desperate for a cheap house in Belconnen that they’ll happily live in a wasteland, then they should move to Charnwood.

PBO 1:34 pm 30 Sep 08

peterh said :

hey, when you are 9 years old, and your father is in the RAAF, if he says you would get shot, you believe him….

I have to agree with Pete on this one, The old mans was a RAAFie and his word was law. If he said back then that i would be shot i would have believed him. He had a lot of good stories about things hidden around and under Canberra.

Just as a note of interest, Boeing were using that area in 2006 and they had quite a large set up in there.

Kramer 1:30 pm 30 Sep 08

Danman – The tip at McKellar was down on the eastern corner, near William Slim Drive & Owen Dixon Drive. They have now cleaned it up *cough* *cough*, built a little pond and medium density housing. I wonder how many of the people living there know what’s under their houses?

peterh 1:21 pm 30 Sep 08

hey, when you are 9 years old, and your father is in the RAAF, if he says you would get shot, you believe him….

Granny 12:44 pm 30 Sep 08

Uh oh … you just broke your promise!

*chuckle*

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