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Joint Gentleman/Orr Media Release: New nature reserve for Franklin Grasslands

November 19, 2019

The Franklin Grasslands would be protected as a new nature reserve for native threatened species under an ACT Government proposal.   

The local community is invited to comment on the proposed changes, outlined in Territory Plan Draft Variation 366, to establish a nature reserve over block 5, section 47 Franklin.

Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman said the new nature reserve would provide an environmental offset site for the upgrade of Dudley Street and new access road to the Yarralumla Brickworks Precinct.

“The Yarralumla project requires a protected site to counterbalance impacts on the Golden Sun Moth and Natural Temperate Grassland ecological community,” Minister Gentleman said.   

“We are committed to preserving what you love about the bush capital through environmental offsets for new development, unlike the Canberra Liberals who have promised to pursue urban sprawl with no conservation plan.

“Franklin Grassland is an ideal site because it supports both the Natural Temperate Grassland and Golden Sun Moth, along with a small patch of Yellow Box and Red Gum Grassy Woodland.

“It is also home to populations of the threatened Striped Legless Lizard, Perunga Grasshopper, Ginninderra Peppercress and provides foraging habitat for the Superb Parrot.”

Member for Yerrabi Minister Suzanne Orr said as our community develops, we need to work together to encourage nature in our urban areas.

“I have been working passionately on this issue with Friends of Grasslands and the Franklin and Harrison communities over a number of years,” Minister Orr said.

“Our grasslands are critically endangered, with less than 10% in South-East Australia remaining in good condition, so it’s great to see a site not only preserved but improved.

“Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work and I’m really looking forward to seeing the result for our community and the environment.”

The ACT Government would manage conservation values on the site with the assistance of the Friends of Grasslands community group.

Consultation on Draft Variation to the Territory Plan 366 runs from to 20 December 2019. View and comment on the draft variation at: www.planning.act.gov.au.

Statement ends