“I am pleased to see that finally, after the ACT Greens calling for this for 6 years, a layer of key information about biodiversity and ecological connectivity will be just one click away in the ACT Government’s public GIS (geographic information system), ACTMAPi,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“It has been very frustrating for us to watch planning and environment issues clash needlessly over the years, partially because it was previously impossible for ACT developers, who don’t have ecological expertise, to know whether an area would be likely to contain endangered species.
“We need a planning system which identifies the areas which are important for ecological purposes to be set aside, long before ACT Government land release agencies have suggested such sites for development proposals. This new level of public information will mean that developers can work around areas of biodiversity and habitat significance, long before an Environmental Impact Assessment process.
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“This will reduce costs for everyone: the Government, developers and conservation groups, who up till now were the ones providing a lot of the biodiversity data in their submissions to development proposals.
“I am glad to see that the information will be updated monthly, and I hope that greater collaboration between the Government and conservation groups, such as the Canberra Ornithologists Group and the Friends of Grasslands will lead to increased data available on ACTMAPi.