re Throsby and Mulligan's Flat/Goorooyarroo

To: <>
Subject: re Throsby and Mulligan's Flat/Goorooyarroo
From: "Chris Davey" <>
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2011 11:46:11 +1000


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 appropriate:


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.PO Box 6022
House of 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 Services.

GPO Box 1020
ACT 2601

cc Shane Rattenbury MLA

ACT Legislative Assembly
GPO Box 1020


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 area include:

  • 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 significant.


Yours etc




Chris Davey (President)

24 Bardsley Place
ACT 2615

Tel: 02-62546324
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