GOAL Respect the natural environment
Biodiversity Conservation

OBJECTIVE — Protect and enhance biodiversity through nature reserves and maintaining connectivity between them

The natural habitats of the ACT are a part of the region’s ecological resources. As development pressures are exerted in the ACT and surrounding areas, these natural habitats need to be protected. Nature conservation priorities already identified include native grassland and habitat for threatened lizards and other species in the Majura and Jerrabomberra valleys, woodlands around Gungahlin, at Symonston, Hume and west of Stromlo, and the Molonglo River corridor. There is scope for woodland restoration projects in the non-urban parts of the ACT. Map 7 — Biodiversity Conservation shows the key nature conservation areas and wildlife corridors that will be protected under the Spatial Plan.

Policy response
  • The Spatial Plan supports the initiatives of the Woodlands for Wildlife: ACT Lowland Woodland Conservation Strategy and the Planning Framework for Natural Ecosystems of the ACT and NSW Southern Tablelands. It identifies for protection the full range of natural ecosystems found in the ACT, including native grasslands and Yellow Box-Red Gum grassy woodland, and wildlife corridors that provide connectivity and linkages between key nature conservation areas.
  • The areas identified as having significant biodiversity values due to the existence of threatened species, ecological communities and habitat for threatened species will be included in nature conservation areas.
  • The major river corridors, the urban hills and ridges, and the hills and reserves east and north of Gungahlin that create the main links for wildlife movement and connect into natural areas south and west of the Murrumbidgee River will be protected as wildlife corridors. At a smaller scale the numerous parks, waterways and landscape features in the urban area that provide links between private gardens and nearby bushland areas will also be recognised in planning policy.
  • Development in the new employment corridor in Majura, Symonston and Jerrabomberra, including around the airport, will take into account the areas of native grassland and habitat for threatened species that are of significant nature conservation value.
  • In the Molonglo Valley, environmentally sensitive areas of the Molonglo River corridor will be protected from the adverse impacts of the development.
  • Those areas included in the rural setting, as shown on Map 1 and which have biodiversity values, such as Yellow Box–Red Gum, will also be managed for conservation purposes.
  • Conservation strategies for endangered ecological communities and threatened species will inform:
  • the priorities for conservation, including those most fundamental to achieving National and Territory conservation goals; and
  • species that require special protective measures.
  • Further detailed investigations and structure planning for new greenfields areas and other urban development areas will include addressing requirements for environmental impact assessments, including assessing the biodiversity values of identified sites.
  • Initiate a Territory Plan variation to ensure wildlife corridors are maintained primarily for wildlife movement.
  • Key nature conservation assets and threatened species and ecological communities protected in nature reserves.
  • A system of wildlife corridors to connect nature reserves developed and maintained.
  • Protection of sensitive natural environments.
Monitoring indicators
  • Hectares of threatened species habitats and ecological communities and other natural assets protected in nature reserves or under similar secure management as proportion of the total area of the ACT.
  • Proportion of large, medium or small fragments of native vegetation with corridor connections.
  • Proportion and area (hectares) of each ecological community protected in nature reserves.