Endangered ecosystems and Indigenous heritage need better protection

Australian Greens

The ACT Greens today welcomed a commitment from Chief Minister Barr that the ACT Government will now act to protect a local site of possible Indigenous cultural significance that is home to endangered species.

It comes mere days after four teenagers were fined for dangerous driving behaviour on a possible sacred Aboriginal site – home to endangered species, at the old CSIRO site, on the foothills of Mount Ainslie.

The site received significant local attention in recent months, following calls from some local Indigenous community representatives and the ACT Greens for the development to be assessed for its Indigenous heritage values before apartments are built on the site.

With support from ACT Labor, Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley then agreed to conduct this assessment.

The ACT Greens had also written to the Minister for City Services on 16 June urging that the site be protected in the interim, with bollards installed around the site to prevent hoons from destroying endangered species, like the golden sun moth, on the site.

Comments attributable to ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury:

“It is bitterly disappointing to see the damage done to this site, when there is a simple solution to make sure this doesn’t happen. We need to work harder to protect our endangered species and remnant ecosystems.

“Residents have been expressing concern for some time over illegal driving activities taking place on this site and damaging the flora.

“Locals know that this isn’t the first time that dangerous driving has threatened this site.

“The solution here is simple. Get some bollards up, and now, so that these important areas are protected.”

As stated by ACT Greens candidate for Kurrajong Rebecca Vassarotti:

“We know how distressing this is for the local community and we know it can easily be fixed. We want Canberra to be a biodiversity sanctuary, and protecting valuable sites like this is one of these easiest things we can do to achieve that.”

/Public Release. View in full here.