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Why don’t bits of molonglo need an EIS?

By johnboy 29 July 2009 30

The Greens’ Caroline Le Couteur is once again asking tricky questions, this time wanting to know on what basis Andrew Barr, as the planning Minister, decreed that certain parts of the planned new city centre of Molonglo didn’t need to undergo a Environmental Impact Study.

    “We would think that an EIS would help identify the right location for the border of the suburb along the river to minimise impact on wildlife, including the Pink Tailed Worm Lizard, at the rivers edge.”

    “The Minister should be open about the information he’s received and give the assurance that we are not rushing this development at the expense of the natural environment.” Ms Le Couteur said.

UPDATED: My attention has been drawn to Andrew Barr’s recent statement on this issue:

    I am keeping land release in the ACT on-track by exempting development of some of the initial land release areas in the Molonglo Valley from requiring a full environmental impact statement.

    The area for which the exemption applies comprises the south east corner of a larger area known as East Molonglo and includes the suburbs of Wright, Coombs and North Weston.

    This decision is based on advice from the ACT Planning and Land Authority after its full and independent assessment of detailed reports prepared over the past few years.

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Why don’t bits of molonglo need an EIS?
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monomania 3:26 pm 30 Jul 09

Surely nobody can want the first 3 or 4 km of the Molonglo below Scrivener Dam to remain as highly degraded. In its present state it it would have to be fenced off if it was close to urban development. It is highly eroded and infested with exotic plants. Parts of the old Weston Creek Sewerage Works abut the river and are only partially demolished. This part of the river has been highly regulated by the Scrivener Dam for next to 50 years. So where were the carers?

I-filed 2:55 pm 30 Jul 09

How was the assessment independent?

Where is the public consultation?

Hells_Bells74 2:52 pm 30 Jul 09

They see themselves in the worms for sure.

S4anta 2:13 pm 30 Jul 09

Hells_Bells74 said :

It’s official in this country…things with no legs and spines…

Well that’ll explain the relics in legislative assembly then.

And Bill Tuckey.

deezagood 2:03 pm 30 Jul 09

I hear your point Chewy; and yes, people will still complain and protest (especially if the EIS is dodgy and performed by a non-neutral party). But at very least, the government would be seen to be doing the right thing and having nothing to hide. It pisses me off that they als use ‘timeliness’ as an excuse for not doing an EIS (‘we can’t do an EIS because it will delay the project’). Exactly how bad are their planning processes and why don’t they factor the EIS timeframe in???

chewy14 1:55 pm 30 Jul 09

Sorry that was meant to be:

Maybe because even when they get an EIS people still complain and say that the EIS is inaccurate?

Although i do agree that it would put them on safer ground with the public if an EIS was conducted for every major development.

chewy14 1:54 pm 30 Jul 09

deezagood said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Why oh why doesn’t this government learn from their mistakes??

Maybe because even when they get an EIS people still complain and say that the EIS is inaccurate?

Although i do agree that it would put them on safer ground with the public if an EIS was conducted for every major development.

deezagood 1:51 pm 30 Jul 09

Gungahlin Al said :

Perhaps people should focus instead on the key message: why the seemingly increasing propensity towards avoiding EISs? I have been amazed at the almost complete lack of EISs in ACT – other local governments require them on almost all significant developments in new areas. It seems to me that in the ACT where most development being led by the government itself, people are accustomed to seldom seeing EISs happen. Major development happens in grrenfield areas almost unquestioned here. That is not a good thing.

And the current ACT Government’s avoidance of them is akin to not wanting to know the answers. I would guess this has a lot to do with so much of their budget dependent on selling off land, so desperately not wanting to minimise the land yield through those pesky nature reserves…

It is entirely appropriate that Caroline is putting these questions. It seems few others are willing to do so.

Here here Al. Any major development project warrants an EIS and failure to undertake an EIS shows the reluctance of the government to actually follow due processes and seek as much information as possible prior to commencing a development. Failure to conduct an EIS only makes folks a LOT more suspicious too, so really, an EIS will probably save the government time in the long run. Why oh why doesn’t this government learn from their mistakes??

Clown Killer 12:48 pm 30 Jul 09

An EIS (or EIA in other places) is about assessing the environmental impact of a proposal, and then whether those impacts are acceptable, can be mitigated, can be avoided, or only avoiding part of or the whole proposal can ensure acceptable environmental outcomes.

That’s pretty much what I was saying – although I doubt that there would be even a minescule number of instances where the whole proposal would warrant rejection on environmental grounds – simply because the number of available engineered solutions are so diverse and effective.

Clown Killer 12:37 pm 30 Jul 09

I had forgotten Pacminex. That must have been some nasty operation – to not get a proposal like that through in the 70s.

Oh, and you’re a three post nutbag 🙂

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