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The Throsby lockdown

By johnboy - 18 August 2011 21

Yesterday the Greens celebrated getting a motion up to protect Yellow Box / Red Gum Grassy Woodlands:

The Greens motion called on the Government to:

• Ensure a full assessment of the environmental values of Throsby;
• Refer Throsby for assessment under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act;
• Create a vegetation and biodiversity overlay for planning GIS maps; and
• Ensure that fire asset protection zones fall outside of environmentally sensitive areas

Today Liberal Leader Zed Seselja is not impressed:

“Stopping any development at Throsby will add to the cost of land in Canberra, push up rents, and frustrate plans for a Catholic high school in the area.

“There would also be question marks over future road duplications such as Horse Park Drive.

“This dangerous approach from the Greens with some support from the Labor Party will bring back memories of the way the people of Gungahlin have been treated in waiting for the GDE to be built for the past decade.

“Make no mistake, today marks the beginning of further efforts by the Greens/Labor alliance to stifle the legitimate growth and development of Gungahlin,” Mr Seselja concluded.

Stifle Gungahlin you say?

UPDATE: There’s now a Save Throsby website.

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
The Throsby lockdown
wildturkeycanoe 5:43 pm 19 Aug 11

brettguy
point 1 – Blakely’s Red Gum – “Widespread and abundant, in grassy woodlands on various usually moderately fertile soils.”, from PlanetNET – FloraOnline website. It even includes a map of where it’s found throughout N.S.W. Endangered my a$$.
point 2 – “Throsby is an open grassy woodland, which is common in this area.” You just made my point for me. Common – not distinguished or exceptional. Common like bogans, common like public servants, common like ……
point 3 – Well, 3 out 4 ain’t bad.
point 4 – If we only slash and burn the bit between the houses and the reserve, i guess the reserve will be the first to be flattened by the next firestorm that hits. Then it will go through an extensive regrowth period, if any of the protected species survive, during which time the government WILL look at it as a just another piece of useless land that could be better suited to housing development. I mean, with all the trees burnt to the ground, the dusty surface now inhabited by the invasive weeds that cope better than the native grasses and no more fancy frogs or lizards to protect, we wonder why the environmental lobby didn’t see the benefits of fuel reduction burning.
You want debate…bring it on.

brettguy 11:26 am 19 Aug 11

wildturkeycanoe has made a number of incorrect statements. While trying to appear knowledgeable through use of scientific names of trees, it seems they are completely unaware that the red gum referred to in endangered community ‘yellow box – red gum’ refers to blakely’s red gum Eucalyptus blakelyi, not the river red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis. Anyone who has driven horse park drive can clearly see these trees in Throsby. Pretending to be knowledge on an issue, when you clearly are not, is not a very constructive way to conduct a debate.

You go on to express concerns that the Green are very value laden in their approach to environmental issues, but yourself say Throsby looks like farmland not national park and is therefore not important. Throsby is an open grassy woodland, which is common in this area. No it does not have giant trees and ferns like many national parks, but it never did. Do we only protect areas with large trees and ferns? Personally I find grasslands and grassy woodland just as beautiful, but either way they are endangered, and in my opinion (and Australian law) deserve protection!!!

Your point on indian mynas and domestic cats is perplexing, and actually makes the argument to protect Throsby. Domestic cats and the indian myna are at much higher densities near housing, and therefore their impact is greatest in reserves near housing. Therefore keeping housing away from Throsby will actually seek to reduce cat and indian myna numbers to the benefit of existing reserves.

Finally, “ensure fire asset protection zones fall outside environmentally sensitive areas” To simplify, it means ‘keep burning and slashing done to protect houses between the housing and the reserve, not in the reserve.”

yellowsnow 9:17 am 19 Aug 11

wildturkeycanoe is onto something when he’s talking about the Greens’ motivation in opposing development. I’ve always been uncomfortable with their focus being on endangered species or ecosystems, rather than preserving open space for the benefit of the local human population. Notice that the Greens shout about any development on yellowbox woodland (aka former farmland) or native grasslands (which look like weeds to the untrained eye), but are all for developments like Wright in Molonglo, which resulted in a pine plantation forest being cut down and a much loved recreation area (Deeks Forest) being lost to the community. In actual fact removing a pine plantation has a much bigger impact on CO2 emissions than clearing any other type of land because the amount of pre-1990 carbon pine forest sequesters, so you’d think they would oppose this on greenhouse emissions grounds, but i guess none of the political parties have ever been big on consistency. They hate pine trees – more even than carbon – because Pinus radiata are not native you see

Unfortunately the Greens are the only party standing up to developers at the moment in the ACT, so for now I’ll go along with them at the local level, apart from their more wacky policies and animalcentric worldview. However I look forward to a broader based anti-development party being formed sometime soon. There’s a lot of anti-development sentiment in the community, and I reckon a party like that could successfully tap into some of that sentiment

wildturkeycanoe 6:07 am 19 Aug 11

zippyzippy – my comments aren’t totally based on presumption and lack of information. The Greens obviously want to protect the heritage aspect of buildings that were demolished, the water sanctuary for bird life that was actually man made 50 years ago and various species of grass that haven’t been “infected” by noxious weeds. I’d find it hard to believe there is a place in Australia that hasn’t got some form of invasion by blackberry, Paterson’s curse or some type of imported thistle.
I could ring up and ask what’s so important about it all, but as the article states they want to ” Ensure a full assessment of the environmental values of Throsby”, so does that mean they don’t know yet? Every time a developer steps onto vacant land, there’s an environmentalist looking for a “rare species” of frog, or moth, or worm to prevent progress. Just like the national parks they say it’s for us to enjoy, for our children and future generations. Then once it’s declared protected you aren’t allowed to touch anything, can’t enter with vehicles but have to walk along dedicated tracks to enjoy it and please pay through the nose for the privilege [Natioanl Park entry fees to the Snowy Mountains for example]. That’s not experiencing nature, that’s visiting a museum.

zippyzippy 10:13 pm 18 Aug 11

wildturkeycanoe said :

Woop-dee-doo! Some trees will get chopped down to make way for houses. Some grass will get squashed, some birds will fly away and some Greenies will shed a tear.
Honestly, when you look at areas like the national parks in Australia against what resembles farmland in Gungahlin, I wonder what they have been smoking.

It doesn’t look so good when you say things like it ‘resembles farmland’ therefore the greens must have been smoking something. Or that they’re just trying to protect throsby because of some bizarre political motive or something.

You know what you should do? Ring up the greens and ask them what they are talking about with throsby. I’m sure it will be very good for you and your interest in ecology. You might find the issues are more serious, and involved, than you are imagining.

wildturkeycanoe 7:27 pm 18 Aug 11

Woop-dee-doo! Some trees will get chopped down to make way for houses. Some grass will get squashed, some birds will fly away and some Greenies will shed a tear.
Honestly, when you look at areas like the national parks in Australia against what resembles farmland in Gungahlin, I wonder what they have been smoking.
“ensure fire asset protection zones fall outside environmentally sensitive areas”?????
To a layman like myself, this wreaks of someone putting a whole heap of big words together to make themselves look more important than what they are, with the aim of confusing anyone who wants to oppose them.
Here’s my effort-
I believe that Throsby is an unproductive agricultural fringe area, with negligible contributory fiscal value to both the populous of the greater A.C.T region and its second tier governmental infrastructure. Further, the unsubstantiated claims of irrevocable damage to the ecosystem due to a decrease in the Eucalyptus melliodora and Eucalyptus camaldulensis [incorrectly identified as red gum which is a species only found adjacent waterways, of which there are none in the Mulligan’s Flat area] conclude that the environmental lobby is playing on the ignorance and naivety of the general public to achieve nothing more than selfish ambitions that do nothing more than inflate their own egos. To wit, nothing they have done in the Gungahlin region in terms of protection of the environment has had effect, least of all the laws governing the protection of the native bird life, if the numbers of domesticated felines prowling the “protected reserves” and the ever increasing plague of Acridotheres tristis [Indian Myna bird] are taken into account. Therefore, without extreme prejudice but allowing some emotional intervention, I surmise that this attempt to stall what will ultimately be a victory to the people of Canberra and it’s leaders is typically flawed and shall dissipate into the stratosphere along with all the rest of the hot air they expel.

bigfeet 5:20 pm 18 Aug 11

I always thought that Throsby was a bad idea. It is quite a small area wedged between two nature reserves and the border.

Why not incorporate the area into the existing nature reserves?

The facilities could be easily built in ‘Kenny’ (although who would want to live in a suburb named Kenny!).

ThisIsAName 5:02 pm 18 Aug 11

Gungahlin Al said :

There have already been a number of important findings in Throsby that are putting question marks over parts of the sites earmarked for the Throsby District Playing Fields and the Catholic High School. And the rest of Throsby was always going to be an unusual spread out mess intertwined with the foothills at the NSW border, and the Goorooyaroo and Mullignas Flat Reserves.

There is also the heritage aspect. I’ve heard there is some heritage stuff somewhere out in the Throsby area. Based on the current modus operandi, I wouldn’t be surprised if houses/flats were approved to surround whatever is there. Unfortunately, this sort of thing has already happened at Gungaderra Homestead (a 2007? photo is here: http://www.heritageatrisk.org.au/Gungaderra_Homestead.html). Flick forward a few years and nearmap.com shows the heritage buildings are now surrounded by some ugly housing development.

Gungahlin Al said :

So this investigation is going to have to be done quickly.

What are the chances of the govt changing the plans?

hax 4:11 pm 18 Aug 11

chewy14 said :

No he’s actually asking for twenty storey towers to be built in every suburb and all native animals to be exterminated on sight.

I much prefer the Greens option of all new residents to Gungahlin communing with nature and sleeping under the endangered woodlands trees.

20 storey buildings in every suburb would actually fix many of our problems, from affordability to public transport woes, allowing denser population while leaving more green open space. lol. Except NIMBY!!

zippyzippy 2:42 pm 18 Aug 11

Wow, what a reaction.

I’m glad you posted up the motion that Zed was actually responding to.

That is some super-panicky hyperbole he’s got going there.

chewy14 2:27 pm 18 Aug 11

EvanJames said :

So Zed’s policy to bring down land prices in the ACT is to concrete over every bit of “wasted” space? How lovely.

No he’s actually asking for twenty storey towers to be built in every suburb and all native animals to be exterminated on sight.

I much prefer the Greens option of all new residents to Gungahlin communing with nature and sleeping under the endangered woodlands trees.

EvanJames 2:18 pm 18 Aug 11

So Zed’s policy to bring down land prices in the ACT is to concrete over every bit of “wasted” space? How lovely.

Gungahlin Al 12:48 pm 18 Aug 11

I have to admit that I’ve always been disappointed how little consideration environmental assessments received in the ACT – natural environment that is. Until fairly recently, it seemed like people thought enough was locked up in the nature reserve and national park, so the rest didn’t matter regardless of a site’s particular qualities.

There have already been a number of important findings in Throsby that are putting question marks over parts of the sites earmarked for the Throsby District Playing Fields and the Catholic High School. And the rest of Throsby was always going to be an unusual spread out mess intertwined with the foothills at the NSW border, and the Goorooyaroo and Mullignas Flat Reserves.

So I don’t think it’s inappropriate for the Assembly to be asking whether Throsby really needs a rethink.

But I will say that demand for the above two facilities is already high, with other such sports facilities like Lyneham under incredible pressure, and if they can’t go in the area known as Throsby, then they will have to be incorporated into Kenny – the planning for which is already well under way.

So this investigation is going to have to be done quickly.

yellowsnow 11:46 am 18 Aug 11

and another thing – if Zed really thinks Throsby will increase housing affordability, he should call it quits right now and become a developer industry lobbyist – clearly his true calling. Zed’s one sided analysis comes straight from the housing industry playbook and has no place in political debate

yellowsnow 11:05 am 18 Aug 11

Wow. It’s comments like Zed’s that ensure that the Coalition will never be elected in the ACT. The Labor Govt deserves to lose, but Zed’s mob deserves to lose even more

The key to increasing your electoral support in Canberra is steering clear of developers, which everyone loves to hate, not getting into bed with them.How many people is Zed going to win over with his calls for every last bit of Gungahlin to be paved? Zilch. Unless of course he’s more interested in donations from his developer mates to the Liberal Party than he is in ever winning an election. At this rate, I reckon the Greens stand to get more votes than the libs

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