Talk on 6 August

To: "Canberrabirds" <>
Subject: Talk on 6 August
From: "Tony Lawson" <>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 16:25:29 +1000

Following on from Matthew Frawley's recent email (see below),

the  following talk may be of interest to some COG chatliners


Report on ACT Lowland Native Grassland Investigation


By Dr Maxine Cooper

Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment


Talk To

Field Naturalists Association of Canberra

and Friends of Grasslands


7:30 pm Thursday 6 August

Seminar Room, Botany and Zoology Dept, ANU (Bg 116) off Daley Rd



Dr Maxine Cooper, the first full-time ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, will give a presentation to the Field Naturalists and Friends of Grasslands on her important Report on ACT Lowland Native Grassland Investigation, which was submitted to the Government in March.


Her investigation considered 49 lowland native grassland sites in the ACT, on both National and Territory land.  These sites are the subject of Australian and ACT Government legislation and have a number of land managers. Complex administrative arrangements exist including memoranda of understanding, licences, leases (including land management agreements) and Conservator?s Directions.


Dr Cooper will outline some of her 32 recommendations to improve management of these important and threatened grasslands, including:

        ?              the need to take urgent land management action to protect sites that are in critical, or approaching a critical condition (Recommendations 21 and 15). Of the Territory?s lowland native grassland sites 20% are in critical condition, 40% are approaching a critical condition and 20% are in good condition;

?              the proposal that a Majura Valley Reserve (grassland) be planned and its boundaries defined in the near future (Recommendation 23);

?              the possibility of Mount Ainslie Reserve, Aranda Bushland and Black Mountain Reserve being expanded to include some areas of lowland native grassland (Recommendations 24 and 25);

?              the opportunity to adopt a strategic approach to protect lowland native grassland (particularly Natural Temperate Grassland and threatened grassland species) and foster appropriate development through developing an offset policy. This policy should include the identification of offset restoration sites (Recommendation 22); and

?              the need for long-term land uses to be defined for some lowland native grassland sites (Recommendation 26).

The Report can be found at .


Prior to taking up this position, Dr Cooper led the ACT?s Water Security Taskforce.  Dr Cooper has extensive senior experience in both the public and private sectors. She has held statutory positions as Conservator Flora and Fauna and as Chief Animal Welfare Officer for the ACT.


Dr Cooper?s professional life began as an urban and regional planner in Western Australia.  She is a full-time member of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand and the Planning Institute of Australia.  She was recently made a fellow of the Planning Institute for her contribution to the profession. Her focus on sustainability was particularly recognised when she received a Professional Fulbright Award to undertake work on this issue in the USA. 


The Field Nats meet at the Gould Wing (Building 116) of the Botany and Zoology (BOZO) Dept, at the Australian National University.  Access is via Daley Road.  There is a map at the back of the FNAC newsletter, which can be accessed at .  For further details contact Tony Lawson on 6161 9430 or .


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