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To: The ACT Planning Minister - Mick Gentleman
Save the Murrumbidgee River Corridor
Dear Minister Gentleman,
It's such a shame you have proposed a suburb to be built in the middle of very important land inside the Murrumbidgee River corridor! We think if you had spent the time and engaged the services of appropriately qualified and experienced experts in the areas of flora, fauna and water quality, you might have chosen a far more suitable piece of land to make plans to build on.
This area is habitat to some threatened and endangered species, including the Scarlet Robin that your own government has announced needs an action plan to be saved from extinction.
There are a LOT of people against this proposal, for very good reasons, and we will make every effort to protect this piece of land, and the river, from the harm that you are proposing. There are plenty of other spaces in our local area that would be more suitable for a new suburb, don’t just try and go for the biggest profit margin at the greatest cost to our natural environment. Do the right thing!
Why is this important?
The Murrumbidgee River is a major tributary of the Murray River within the Murray–Darling basin and the second longest river in Australia. It flows through the Australian state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It descends 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) as it flows 900 kilometres (559 mi) in a west-northwesterly direction from the foot of Peppercorn Hill in the Fiery Range of the Snowy Mountains towards its confluence with the Murray River near Boundary Bend.
In the Australian Capital Territory, the river is bordered by a narrow strip of land on each side, which are both managed as the ‘Murrumbidgee River Corridor'. This land includes nature reserves, eight recreation reserves, a European heritage conservation zone and rural leases. The ACT Planning Minister is in the process of changing the zoning of the area so developers can build over 3,000 houses.
Key issues against this development include:
• Environmental values – this land is a valuable bush buffer between the river and the town centre, which protects the water quality of the river and the diversity of animals and plants that rely on this habitat. Waste water from a new development will end up in the river. Endangered species such as the Murray crayfish, declining woodland birds like the Scarlet Robin and the Diamond Firetail would be threatened, probably lost forever, by development on this site.
• Cultural and Heritage values – the heritage listed Tuggeranong Stone Wall passes through this area - it is the final remaining part of the wall and the only known drystone wall in the ACT remaining in its original rural setting. The Aboriginal cultural heritage that links Tharwa to Kambah Pool would be violated by high-density housing intruding on the river corridor. The heritage values of this landscape are of critical importance to our past and future and would be lost forever.
• Recreation values – mountain bike riders, bushwalkers using the Canberra Centenary Trail, birdwatchers, swimmers regularly enjoy the benefits of this wild place.
If you want to see the ideal of the Bush Capital not be further destroyed, if you want the Murrumbidgee River corridor to remain protected and wild then let the Minister know. This land is so sensitive and important and once the zoning is changed, it will be lost forever.