I am writing to all contributors to the COG chatline to
help in the fight to save an area of land designated for the suburb of Throsby,
situated east of Horse Park Drive, Gungahlin and between the Mulligan?s Flat and
Goorooyarroo Nature Reserves.
Along with the Conservation Council ACT Region, the
Gungahlin ?Bush on the Boundary? Group and the National Parks Association, COG
is most concerned about the possible lose of this most valuable habitat and the
possibility for greatly enhancing the conservation value of the Mulligan?s
Flat/Goorooyarroo Reserve complex.
Brett Howland, a PhD student at Fenner School, ANU has
created a website and Facebook page for Throsby (savethrosby). I urge you
to look at it and register as a friend of Throsby.
There is also an urgent need for individuals and community
groups to express their concern to the Commonwealth ? as species threatened
under Federal legislation are involved. The Commonwealth is well aware of
the sensitivity of the area, but is not aware of any real community concern
about it, hence they are unlikely to push the ACT government on this. If you can
a short letter to the Federal Minister, Tony Burke will be welcome. Now is a critical time
as the Commonwealth is
considering ACT government proposals.
COG has written a letter to Tony Burke on behalf of all
COG members and I urge you to do the same with a copy to the ACT Minister, Simon
Corbell and to Shane Rattenbury, MLA.
Some words along the following lines would be
The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Sustainability,
Environment, Water, Population and Communities.PO Box 6022
Representatives, Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
cc Simon Corbell MLA
Attorney General, Minister for Environment,
Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy, Minister for Police and Emergency
GPO Box 1020
CANBERRA ACT 2601
cc Shane Rattenbury
Dear Minister Burke,
As a concerned citizen I am writing to express my alarm at
the possible urban development of an area in the ACT known as ?Throsby? situated
east of Horse Park Drive, Gungahlin and between the Mulligan?s Flat and
Goorooyarroo Nature Reserves.
I am very concerned about the piecemeal way in which the
ACT Government planning system operates.
In the last few years I am aware that COG has undertaken
surveys for nesting trees of the Superb Parrot (threatened under Federal
legislation- EPBC Act) within Throsby and the adjacent reserves, and they are of
the view that this area is a critical breeding area for this species. Indeed,
apparently, it is the major site for breeding pairs of these threatened birds
within the ACT. I understand that some of this habitat (breeding trees and food
trees) has already been destroyed with the establishment of the adjacent suburb
of Harrison on the western side of Horse Park Drive. There are a number of key
grounds supporting no further clearance of grassy woodland in Throsby, and that
the ACT Government should not be allowed to develop there at all. Instead, the
area could be managed for conservation under a suitable mix of extended reserve
land and leasehold grazing, with grazing performing a function to reduce fuel
loads against the urban edge.
Other reasons NOT to allow urban development in Throsby
- Throsby contains patches of woodland that would meet criteria for
classification as endangered Yellow box /Red Gum (nationally known as White
Box - Yellow Box - Blakely?s Red Gum) grassy woodland community.
- The proposed development zone is an area of land bordering 2 large
reserves (Mulligan?s Flat/Goorooyarroo) which together comprise the largest
patch of endangered grassy woodland in public hands. There is a major research
study within the reserves on grassy woodland restoration, which could be
impacted if Throsby is developed/urbanised.
- Golden Sun Moths (critically endangered) and Superb Parrots (vulnerable)
breed within the proposed development zone.
- There is a number of ACT and Commonwealth threatened bird species which
occur in the reserves or within Throsby: Superb Parrot, Swift Parrot, Hooded
Robin, Varied Sittella, Brown Treecreeper, Regent Honeyeater, Painted
Honeyeater, and White-winged Triller.
- Parts of Throsby represent a potential risk from wildfire, as urban areas
would be surrounded on 3 sides by woodland reserves, with a very long edge to
manage. This will mean significant pressures for greater prescribed burning
within the reserves to protect houses and other urban infrastructure,
destroying the important values of the reserves.
- There needs to be large buffers between these important woodlands and the
urban area of Gungahlin, to allow for asset protection zones under the ACT?s
bushfire management plans; because of the shape of Throsby as a "neck" of land
between the reserves, this will be impossible to achieve without those asset
protection zones intruding into and destroying parts of the reserves.
- There will be adverse impacts associated with urban development/close
urban presence of some 90,000 people living nearby, such as the increase in
feral predators (cats, dogs), increase in abundance of aggressive birds which
favour edge habitats (Noisy Miner and Pied Currawong and the introduced Common
(Indian) Myna) and increased light and noise. Buffers therefore need to be
Chris Davey (President)