RRA News – July 2020

Mt Ainslie reassessment for Indigenous Heritage Significance

As new information regarding the heritage significance of Mt Ainslie has come to light Federal Minister for Environment, Susan Ley MP, has instructed her department to review the heritage claims. Further, Andrew Barr, ACT Chief Minister, has called for a complete halt on development until such assessment can be undertaken.

This proposed Doma development – on Blocks 4 and 5 Section 38 Campbell, 30 Limestone Avenue – for two high rise (8 storeys) apartment towers and some 200 town houses, a private tennis court and pool on a possible sacred Aboriginal site, is now under review.

ABC News, 24 June: Environment Minister orders new Indigenous heritage assessment & ACT Government supports call for complete halt on development

See also earlier ABC report, 22 June: Possible Aboriginal men’s business site in Canberra

 Australian War Memorial redevelopment – 2nd public consultation

Currently the proposed redevelopment of AWM’s second public consultation phase is taking place.

This project has been determined to be a ‘controlled action’ (EPBC 2019/8574) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The controlling provisions under the EPBC Act are ‘National Heritage places’ (Sections 15B and 15C) and ‘Commonwealth action’ (Section 28).

Thus, this phase focuses on the environmental and heritage impacts of the redevelopment plans. Please see EPBC Preliminary Documentation for further information and actual physical documents can be viewed at:

  • ACT Planning and Land Authority, Ground Floor South, Dame Pattie Menzies House, 16 Challis Street, Dickson ACT
  • ACT Libraries, Civic Library, Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra City
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, John Gorton Building, King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600.

NOTE:

 Update: EPBC ACT REVIEW – Interim Report

The statutory review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) commenced on 29 October 2019. Professor Graeme Samuel AC has released the Interim Report June 2020.

This Review process is now at a crucial stage. You can provide comments on the Interim Report by completing a ‘Have your say’ survey.

The survey is intentionally set out to focus feedback towards proposed key reform directions outlined in the Interim Report. This will ensure that views from a wide range of stakeholders can be considered in the limited time available to prepare the Final Report. The survey approach will enable Professor Samuel to quickly gauge views and to target analysis toward key improvements. Please refrain from resending material you have already provided in response to the Discussion Paper as these materials have already been considered by the Review.

Survey will close at 9:00 am, Monday 17 August 2020.

See also some media responses:

ABC News: Review recommends an independent cop

The Guardian: Review finds Australia’s environment in unstainable state of decline

Government News: Review slams EPBC, calls for an independent cop on the beat.

Farm Weekly: www.farmweekly.com.au/story/6841054/environmental-laws-serve-neither-side-and-need-overhauling-review/?cs=4770

‘Stop the destruction of our Lake and Foreshore’: Lake Burley Griffin Guardians brochure

You should have received a brochure in your letterboxes this week from the Lake Burley Griffin Guardians and supported by the Walter Burley Griffin Society, Canberra Planning Action Group, North Canberra Community Council and Save our Green Spaces.

This brochure calls for action to stop the loss of community land on Acton Park and the infill of West Basin. Click for a digital copy of Stop the destruction of our Lake & Foreshore.

LBG Brochure Final Digital copy

For further information, you may also be interested reading the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) resolution passed at the 19th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium in Delhi (India), December 2017:

CONSERVATION OF THE LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN AND LAKESHORE LANDSCAPE

 HEBE plantings, Anzac Parade

For information regarding the new plantings of the New Zealand Hebe on Anzac Parade, please see the letter we have received from the National Capital Authority

I am writing to advise the Reid Residents Association & Campbell Community Association of the start of major works to replace the Hebe plantings on Anzac Parade leading up to Remembrance Day 2020. The works that are starting will include soil removal and reinstatement, mulching and replanting activities and will necessarily include movement of heavy trucks on and around Anzac Parade. This activity of heavy trucks and equipment will continue for some weeks leading up to the actual planting of Hebe plants around September.

Previous Hebe investigations and findings

In 2019, the NCA commissioned an independent, broad ranging horticultural investigation of the Display including plant pathology and soil chemistry laboratory testing. It was established that the Hebe on Anzac Parade are slowly dying due to two relatively common soil borne diseases, Pythium and Fusarium. The diseases, which result in root rot, were found to have impacted all beds on the Parade to a greater or lesser extent. The identified diseases have been slowly attacking juvenile and mature plant roots, reducing the ability of the affected plants to take up water, particularly in hot and extreme weather conditions.

The spread of Pythium and Fusarium is difficult to control. There is no fungicide that is considered fully effective, especially on the scale currently presenting on the Parade.

Replacement Strategy

The NCA’s independent horticultural expert has advised that the display’s Hebe ‘Otari Delight’ should survive if kept disease free and maintained appropriately. The NCA therefore plans to retain the Hebe species given its heritage significance to the Parade. However, the only way to ensure that the diseases are fully removed and practicably controllable into the future is to:

  1. completely replace all of the planter bed soil, plants and drainage layer;
  2. disinfect each empty planter bed prior to new works commencing;
  3. install replacement soil, plants, drainage and irrigation; and
  4. implement a maintenance regime that reduces the risk of disease.

I would invite you to keep abreast of our updates and the planned future stakeholder meeting to be held in a couple of months’ time by checking our website page for updates: Anzac Parade Hebe works

I look forward to catching up again and if you have any further questions about the project, please write to info@nca.gov.au

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