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Plans to extend Canberra’s nature reserves

By Michael Reid - 13 May 2016 0

Canberra generic landscape

Justice Robert Hope Park in Watson will be rezoned to become a new nature reserve and the Pinnacle Nature Reserve in Belconnen extended under ACT government plans.

The rezoning would preserve these parklands – home to endangered ecological communities and species – as important areas for nature conservation, according to planning and land management minister Mick Gentleman.

“These additions to the nature reserve network will provide better protection to species and ecological communities listed under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act,” he said.

Under the draft plans, 19.3 hectares would be added to the Pinnacle site and offset the impact from development of the University of Canberra Public Hospital.

The 18.6 hectare Justice Robert Hope Park will rezoned from urban open space to hills, ridges and buffer with a nature reserve overlay.

“The park is dominated by large, old prolific trees that provide valuable habitat for canopy-dwelling birds and woodland fauna,” Mr Gentleman said.

The designated nature reserve park would offset the impact from the proposed 3-hectare medium-density development in neighbouring blocks and the extension of Negus Crescent to Antill Street at Prime Television.

“ACT woodlands are some of the biggest, best connected, most botanically diverse examples of their type still remaining in Australia and it is essential that we balance development with their protection,” Mr Gentleman said.

A draft variation to the territory plan proposing changes to the zoning of these areas has been released for community consultation.

Full details are available for public comment at www.act.gov.au/draftvariations

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