NCA’s welcome tree coverage comes with an enormous query…

Timber on the Battle Memorial… will the NCA’s new tree coverage save them from being logged? Photograph: Paul Costigan

Final week the Nationwide Capital Authority introduced its long-awaited Tree Administration Coverage. NCA’s A lot ambition to take action a lot for the timber on nationwide land. But there was an apparent lingering query, writes columnist PAUL COSTIGAN

Paul Costigan.

The NCA has existed in its current type since 1989. Throughout these 30 years this physique was imagined to be taking care of the nationwide areas. Provided that it has solely final week launched a tree administration coverage – what has it been doing? 

In more moderen occasions the NCA has allowed the ACT authorities to plough down a whole lot of timber and shrubbery alongside the West Basin for an pointless suburban growth. 

The NCA signed off on this folly realizing that the true motivation was that the Metropolis Redevelopment Authority’s huge lakeside archi-park will serve no actual function besides so as to add worth to the land to be bought.

Then there’s the Curtin-West Basin land swap that can see a well-managed inexperienced belt in North Curtin ploughed underneath for an embassy residential growth. Extra timber are listed to go.

Provided that about 100 timber are to be felled across the Battle Memorial to make approach for the completely pointless extensions, possibly the NCA will comply with by way of on its new coverage and can halt this growth by deciding to avoid wasting these timber. We look ahead to this primary take a look at of their new coverage.

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Mentioning the Battle Memorial brings us to a different downside in how timber are dealt with in Canberra. There was a protest on the Battle Memorial a few weeks in the past to convey the destiny of those timber to individuals’s consideration.

Included within the media reporting of this occasion had been photographs of the ACT Greens becoming a member of the protesters. Each the ACT Greens federal candidate Tim Hollo and the ACT Minister for the Setting, Rebecca Vassarotti, had been featured in pictures exhibiting their issues for the destiny of those timber.

Individuals have since puzzled the apparent. The ACT Greens confirmed up when the timber had been on nationwide land (overseen by the NCA), the place had been they when the Lakeside Guardians had been declaring what number of timber had been to go for West Basin? The place had been they when the Downer historic timber got here down across the fringe of the parklands?

The presence of the ACT Greens ought to be one thing we take with no consideration when it’s about timber and biodiversity. However, sadly, for the final decade or extra this has been their failure. Does their presence on the Battle Memorial sign a change of dedication to timber? Let’s see the place they’re subsequent time timber on ACT land are underneath risk?

And segueing simply to the following matter. The Gungahlin neighborhood has launched a petition to place a pause on growth round the primary centre. 

They aren’t asking for growth to be stopped – however that the federal government honour former planning and ship a larger mixture of growth. 

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They are not looking for the developments to be merely extra residential towers including to the likelihood that the realm will change into a dormitory suburb with little native alternative for employment. They’re additionally on the lookout for inexperienced areas and a spread of neighborhood amenities. 

The ACT Greens have come out in assist of the petition. Take into consideration this – we’ve seen this earlier than. The ACT Greens are a part of the ACT Labor/Greens coalition authorities – and right here we’ve the Greens petitioning themselves to do one thing about this city mess being created by the federal government that they’re a part of. That is smart? Let’s see if the ACT Greens can ship for Gungahlin what the Planning Directorate is failing to ship – good city design.

These are the latest city points that trigger area people teams to spend a lot time and vitality making an attempt to get their heads round questionable selections and the mess brought on by the shortage of planning. 

Regardless of the truth of so many silly issues being carried out by our governments and their businesses, the town stays an important place to reside. Let’s keep constructive and hope that some day quickly that adults return to control – each as politicians and as planning and growth bureaucrats.

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Ian Meikle, editor