Correspondence from Minister Vassarotti

To: "" <>
Subject: Correspondence from Minister Vassarotti
From: Amanda Colemen <>
Date: Sat, 6 Feb 2021 11:34:04 +0000

Thanks everyone, I value all your thoughts and yes there are many sides.


I wasn’t acting on any political view, just felt sad to know that the small holds of reeds along the lakes will go and this will have an impact (even minor) of the water rats (I see one regularly along the lake), wrens and reed warbles. Sometimes it’s the small things that go unnoticed but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important.


I hope that the plants they put in will add to the environment 😊 . NMA has added a native garden in the forecourt which is a big improvement from the concert.


Thanks again. As I said really interesting to hear lots of different view.





From: Canberrabirds <> on behalf of David Rees via Canberrabirds <>
Reply to: David Rees <>
Date: Saturday, 6 February 2021 at 7:50 pm
To: <>
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Correspondence from Minister Vassarotti


One could also add there was no lake till it was built..

On 6/02/2021 7:42 pm, Con wrote:

I don't wish to comment on the politics.

I know the area in question well.

120 years ago the area in question was woodland..It was cleared and mostly used for grazing. The artificial lake has increased Reed Warbler habitat immensely. The lakeside trees and shrubs in the area at question were nearly all exotics. The adjacent grassland consisted mainly of exotic grasses. Apart from that, a significant proportion of the area in question had already been hard topped. Given that the original natural values had already largely disappeared by the end of the 19th century, IMO, it is hard to argue that this significant development is having significant impacts on natural values. With a bit of luck any replacement plantings will consist of local indigenous plants. If this occurs, there could, IMO, be a net benefit in terms of natural values.

I make no comment on the cultural, social, urban development, or economic values that are at play.

kind regards



On 2/6/2021 5:28 PM, David Rees via Canberrabirds wrote:

The part of the lake in question has been a forgotten place for a long time and is now close to where quite a few people live, and many more work. There needs to be more for those folk, and that area of the lake was at times 'interesting', esp. if you walked through it at night. As an example the outfit I previously worked with down there, at times, employed security guards to accompany people to the carpark during winter, don't know if they still do.  The species of bird in question is highly mobile and can be found breeding in the smallest clump for reeds anywhere in town. There are now reeds growing along drain lines in Gungahlin suburbs in which Reed Warblers thrive, where before those suburbs were developed they were dry eroded creek-lines in which not much lived.  In other words we can make suitable breeding habitat for this bird quickly and easily. By the standards of governments worldwide, the ACT Government does relatively well on environmental issues and is relatively approachable and often listens. Yes, random things happen, when one bit does know know what the other bit is doing, but that is a fault of all large organizations. There are bigger fish to keep them on the ball with.


On 6/02/2021 5:04 pm, Philip Veerman wrote:



I read this and am not sure that describing this as “just another example of the Government’s appalling record on the environment” is helpful. Not likely to promote appreciation to them for their efforts. I think the responses - and there were three of them, so they certainly did put in the effort, including consulting and visiting the site-  are likely to be reasonably accurate. Are positive as for the work they are doing likely to have a good prospects for the Reed Warbler into the future, whilst assisting other priorities. I don’t see anything in the responses that I would dispute on available information. Is there any evidence that Reed Warbler are at any threat here or wider geography (that is beyond the fact that everything is from general habitat loss and global warming). Threats to this species are far more likely to be due to habitat loss along the way they migrate, once they leave the breeding area, than the environment here. I think there is a lot of new works around the Canberra waterways that give a lot more habitat for this species than it had in otherwise sort of recent history. I have not directly surveyed that species but my impression is that they have been pretty stable in their summer Canberra population over the 30+ years I have lived here. They are very mobile and reed beds can change very quickly by natural causes, so the birds are surely adapted to that.


It is nice that Amanda asked the question. It is good that the politicians remain aware that conservation issues are important. Yet I suggest there would be few places in the world where you could do this and get three nicely done answers to a little issue like that, about a bird. There are any number of environmental issues to address, some broad and some based on single species.





From: Canberrabirds On Behalf Of Alan Ford
Sent: Saturday, 6 February, 2021 9:17 AM
To: 'Amanda Colemen'; 'COG Chatline';
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Correspondence from Minister Vassarotti




Thank you.


This is just another example of the Government’s appalling record on the environment.




From: Canberrabirds On Behalf Of Amanda Colemen
Sent: Saturday, February 6, 2021 7:35 AM
To: COG Chatline;
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Correspondence from Minister Vassarotti


Hi all


Not sure if anyone’s interested, I’m follow up from email an email I sent out late last year about the reed at West Basin (where they are filling in some of the lake for building works)


I have been contacting ministers and the city renewal people asking for some clarity.


Please see attached responses I’ve had. Not sure if it will make any difference to the plight of this small group of reedwarblers.


Thanks again, I’m new to COG’s but I am loving hearing the devise knowledge the members have about birds.


Thank you 😊





Date: Friday, 5 February 2021 at 4:58 pm
Subject: Correspondence from Minister Vassarotti




Dear Ms Coleman


Please find attached correspondence from Rebecca Vassarotti MLA, Minister for the Environment.


Kind regards


Emily Bird

Office of Rebecca Vassarotti MLA | ACT Greens Member for Kurrajong | Minister for the Environment; Minister for Heritage; Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services; Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction

t: (02) 620 57584 | e:

Follow Rebecca on Facebook and Twitter




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